Shanghai defies pandemic, global downturn to post record GDP per capita

Wang Yanlin Huang Yixuan
With a GDP per capita that for the first time surpassed 180,000 yuan (US$26,335) in 2022, Shanghai has successfully weathered the pandemic and a global economic downturn.
Wang Yanlin Huang Yixuan

Shanghai has successfully weathered the dual test of the pandemic and a global economic downturn in 2022, with GDP per capita surpassing 180,000 yuan (US$26,335) for the first time, according to the city's statistics communiqué released on Wednesday.

The communiqué states that despite "unprecedented risks and challenges for the city last year, we were able to demonstrate resilient economic growth and improved living conditions for our people."

Shanghai produced a record 180,400 yuan GDP per capita in 2022, up 3.9 percent from the figure of 173,630 yuan in the previous year. It was superior to some developed economies like Portugal, Saudi Arabia, and Greece, and on par with the Czech Republic.

The city maintained its top spot among cities on the Chinese mainland in 2022, with a gross domestic product of 4.465 trillion yuan.

In detail, Shanghai registered a growth rate of 3.1 percent in the first quarter. But due to the pandemic, the rate fell 5.7 percent during the January-June period. With arduous efforts to revive the economy, the city finally logged a 0.2-percent dip in GDP for the whole year, thanks to the fast recovery in the second half.

"Shanghai has managed to maintain a relatively stable economic and social development despite all the drawbacks. Now we have an optimized economic structure, reasonable prices, and renewed confidence for the future," the communiqué said.

Hard-earned growth

On the economic front, key industries like automotive and electronics showed faster growth. The manufacturing of automobiles saw a 9.3 percent increase, while that of computers, communications, and other electronic equipment saw a 1.7 percent increase in output value overall.

The service sector experienced diversified industry growth, with finance, information and high-tech services expanding at a comparatively faster rate.

The financial sector saw an increase in output of 862.631 billion yuan, up 5.2 percent, while the amount of money spent on software, information technology, and information transmission services was roughly 378.86 billion yuan, up 6.2 percent.

Shanghai has also attracted record-breaking foreign investment of US$23.5 billion in 2022, with 531 research and development centers and 891 regional headquarters of multinational corporations choosing to locate in the city.

Shanghai's inflation rate stabilized at 2.5 percent last year, meeting the goal set at the beginning of the previous year.

Residents of the city continued to experience positive growth in their per-capita disposable income, which increased 2 percent annually to 79,610 yuan.

The city continued its streak of adding more than 500,000 new jobs for the 19th year in a row in 2022 with the addition of 563,500 new jobs.

At the end of the previous year, 145,600 people were listed as unemployed, and the unemployment rate decreased to 4.5 percent.

Shanghai defies pandemic, global downturn to post record GDP per capita
Li Yi / SHINE
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