City's economic growth continues to surge in first half of 2021

Huang Yixuan
Shanghai saw an upswing in economic growth in the first half of 2021, with steady improvements in economic benefits and rapid growth in strategic emerging industries.
Huang Yixuan

Shanghai saw an upswing in economic growth in the first half of 2021, with steady improvements in economic benefits and rapid growth in strategic emerging industries.

The city's gross domestic product in the first six months of the year was 2.01 trillion yuan (US$310.5 billion), an increase of 12.7 percent over the same period last year, according to data from the city's statistics bureau.

Industrial production grew at a fast pace in the first six months, with strategic emerging industries bounding ahead.

Value-added industrial production in the city grew 20 percent year on year during that period, up 5.4 percent on average over the past two years.

Of the 35 major industrial sectors, production in 32 expanded.

Among them, automotive, special equipment and electrical machinery and equipment manufacturing led the way, with output value soaring by 36.9 percent, 32.6 percent and 31.7 percent, respectively.

The total output of the city's strategic emerging industrial sectors topped 716.5 billion yuan, up 19.6 percent over the same period last year with an average increase of 12.3 percent over the previous two years.

Production of new-energy vehicles, new energy and high-end equipment shot up by 250 percent, 32.1 percent and 24.5 percent, respectively, while the two-year average growth rates were 160 percent, 27.3 percent and 6.7 percent.

The bureau also noted steady recovery in the service sector, led by robust growth in information services as well as wholesale and retail.

The tertiary sector advanced 11.3 percent year on year. The added value of information transmission, software and information technology services exceeded 177 billion yuan, up 16.1 percent from a year earlier, with an average increase of 14.8 percent in two years. 

The wholesale and retail sector came in at 243 billion yuan, and the financial sector was over 384 billion yuan.

With the active implementation of policy measures to stimulate consumption and the launch of promotional activities such as those during the Double Five Shopping Festival, the city's consumer market, especially the trading-up market, sped up the recovery, according to the bureau.

In the first half of the year, the city's retail sales of consumer goods amounted to 904.8 billion yuan, an increase of 30.3 percent over the same period last year and an average rise of 7.6 percent in two years.

Online retail sales continued to burgeon, amounting to 148.57 billion yuan, up 21.2 percent from a year earlier and accounting for 16.4 percent of total retail sales of consumer goods.

The city's imports and exports of goods totaled 1.88 trillion yuan, jumping 19 percent year on year. Imports soared 25.4 percent to 1.179 trillion yuan, while exports grew 9.6 percent to 703.779 billion yuan.

Tang Huihao, deputy head of the Shanghai Bureau of Statistics, noted that foreign investment also perked up in the period, as the COVID-19 pandemic has been under control domestically while various policies on boosting foreign investment have been put into practice, further enhancing the confidence of investors in Shanghai's economic development.

Foreign direct investment in the city was US$12.45 billion, up 21.1 percent from the same period last year and an average increase of 13 percent over two years. 

In terms of the major sources, actual investment from Hong Kong, Singapore, Europe and Japan accounted for 71.2 percent, 12.6 percent, 5.8 percent and 3.2 percent, respectively, among which that from Hong Kong surged 25.9 percent to US$8.86 billion.

Tang also mentioned the steady development in the headquarters economy. In the first half of the year, Shanghai added 31 regional headquarters and 12 research and development centers of foreign companies, bringing the cumulative number of each to 802 and 493, respectively.

He expects foreign investment in the city to continue growing at a fast pace in the second half of the year.

The city's financial market, meanwhile, continued to flourish, the bureau said. Turnover in the city's financial market added up to 1.167 quadrillion yuan, up 9.2 percent from the first half of 2020.

Household income growth picked up as well, and the employment situation was generally stable, both ranking among the top in China, said Zhuang Longde, deputy chief of the National Statistics Bureau's Shanghai investigation team.

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