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Shanghai’s GDP races to better start

Apr 20, 2017

Shanghai's economy raced to a better-than-expected start this year, with gross domestic product growing 6.8 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, Shanghai Statistics Bureau said yesterday.

The expansion put the value of the city’s GDP at 692.28 billion yuan (US$101 billion) in the first three months, the statistics bureau said.

The growth was 0.1 percentage points faster than the same period of last year but it slower than the national level by the same margin.

“The city’s economy grew steadily in the first three months of this year, mainly fueled by notable recovery in industrial output, robust domestic demand as well as improved exports,” said Ruan Qin, deputy director of Shanghai Development and Reform Commission.

Industrial added value, an important economic indicator, rose 6 percent to 179.99 billion yuan in the January-March quarter, reversing a 4.1 percent decline in the same period of last year.

Industrial production climbed to 782.15 billion yuan during the three months, a year-on-year rise of 7.1 percent — the highest first-quarter gain since 2012, the bureau’s data showed.

The city’s services output rose 7.5 percent to 489.64 billion yuan in the first quarter, accounting for 70.7 percent of the local GDP.

Foreign trade in the first quarter jumped 20.1 percent from a year earlier to 751.13 billion yuan amid improving external and domestic demand, reversing a 4.1 percent drop in the same period of last year. Exports gained 13.2 percent and imports surged 25.3 percent, the bureau said.

Fixed-asset investment rose 10.5 percent in the first three months, 2.1 percentage points faster than the same period a year ago. Investment in infrastructure grew by a faster 25.7 percent while that in real estate development rose 8.6 percent, 3.7 percentage points slower than same period a year earlier as the government tightened measures to curb speculation.

The area of new homes sold, excluding government-funded affordable housing, dived 67 percent in the first quarter while the pre-owned home market saw a plunge of 72 percent, the bureau said.

Shanghai’s retail sales rose 7.8 percent to 275.04 billion yuan in the quarter, accelerating from a 7.1 percent growth a year earlier.

The city’s consumer inflation rose at a slower pace. The Consumer Price Index, a main gauge of inflation, climbed 2.2 percent year on year in the quarter, 0.8 percentage points slower from a year ago.