Shanghai GDP breaks 3-trillion-yuan mark in first 3Q

Huang Yixuan
Shanghai GDP in the first three quarters exceeded 3 trillion yuan (US$471.4 billion) for the first time this year, the highest among all cities in China.
Huang Yixuan

Shanghai GDP in the first three quarters exceeded 3 trillion yuan (US$471.4 billion) for the first time, the highest among all cities in China.

The city's gross domestic product was approximately 3.0867 trillion yuan in the first three quarters, an increase of 9.8 percent from the same period last year (calculated at comparable prices), according to the city's statistics bureau.

The figure pointed to an average of over 1 trillion yuan per quarter, which "should be a normal quarterly growth pace," as a sharp slowdown is unlikely to happen in the fourth quarter according to the momentum of economic development, said Wen Jianning, associate professor of Shanghai Lixin University of Accounting and Finance.

"The city's GDP in the fourth quarter may even exceed the quarterly average as a result of the year-end tail-raising factors," Wen said. "A full-year GDP of 4 trillion yuan is assured for 2021, and we may even see growth beyond expectation."

The robust economic growth can be attributed to Shanghai's efforts in all areas, including the constant optimization of the business environment, the formulation and implementation of measures supporting businesses in various industries and of various sizes from home and abroad, and the establishment of global centers for the economy, finance, trade, shipping, and scientific and technological innovation.

So far this year, the city's economy has extended its stable recovery in line with national economic growth, with almost all major indicators on the upswing.

As a highlight, market vitality remained at a high level in the first three quarters, with around 374,000 businesses newly set up in the city, among which leasing and commercial services, sci-tech services, and the wholesale and retail sector posted the largest number of new companies.

Meanwhile, private sector investment in Shanghai surged more than 15 percent from last year, 5.5 percentage points faster than the national level and 5.9 percentage points faster than the city's fixed-asset investment – also proof of a vigorous market.

Industrial production grew strongly in the first three quarters, lifted by robust strategic emerging industries, which contributed production of nearly 1.12 trillion yuan in the nine-month period, surging 16 percent from last year.

Steady growth was seen in the service sector as well, especially led by robust growth in information services – a ballooning modern industry greatly driven by the city's progress in digital transformation in recent years.

Zhu Yi, vice chairwoman of the Shanghai Commission of Commerce, stressed that the city has also enjoyed positive momentum in utilizing foreign capital since the beginning of this year.

A total of 5,136 foreign-funded enterprises were newly established during the first three quarters, up 27 percent from the previous year.

Foreign capital actually used totaled US$17.84 billion, up 15 percent from last year and up 22 percent compared with the same period in 2019.

A total of 47 regional headquarters of foreign-funded multinational companies and 20 foreign-funded research and development (R&D) centers were established in Shanghai in the first nine months, raising their total numbers to 818 and 501, according to Zhu.

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