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China's National Economic and Social Development Situation Summarization (2003)
2004-10-27

National economy kept fast growth. According to preliminary estimation, the gross domestic product (GDP) of the year was 9,593.3 billion yuan, up by 7.3 percent over the previous year at comparable prices. The value-added of the primary industry was 1,461 billion yuan, up by 2.8 percent. The value-added of the secondary industry was 4,906.9 billion yuan, up by 8.7 percent. The value-added of the tertiary industry was 3,225.4 billion yuan, up by 7.4 percent.

Market prices were stable. The consumer price of the year was up by 0.7 percent over the previous year. Of this total, the consumer price level in urban areas was up 0.7 percent, and it was up 0.8 percent in rural areas. Analyzed by category of commodities, the prices for food maintained the same level over the previous year (of which, the prices for grain went down by 0.7 percent, the prices for meat, poultry and their products and for fresh vegetables went' up by 1.6 percent and 1.4 percent respectively, the prices for eggs went up by 6.0 percent), The prices for tobacco and alcoholic beverages and for garments were down by 0.3 percent and 1.9 percent respectively. The prices for household appliances and transportation and telecommunications were down by 2.3 percent and 1.0 percent respectively. The prices for recreation, education and culture services were up by 6.6 percent, and 1.2 percent growth for housing. The ex-factory price of manufactured goods declined by 1.3 percent, and the purchasing price for energy, raw materials and power went down by 0.2 percent. The price for investment in fixed assets was up 0.4 percent.

The scope of employment continued to be broadened. By the end of 2001, the total of employed people in China numbered 730.25 million, or 9.40 million more than at the end of 2000. Of this total, 239.40 million were employed in urban areas, an increase of 7.89 million persons over that at the end of 2000. By the end of 2001, the number of laid-off workers of state-owned enterprises was 5.15 million, a decrease of 1.42 million persons as compared with that at the end of 2000. In the year 2001, about 2.27 million laid-off workers found new jobs through various measures. By the end of 2001, the urban unemployment rate through unemployment registration was 3.6 percent.

China's balance of payment was in good position. The trade surplus of the' year was 22.5 billion US dollars, a decrease of 1.6 billion US dollars. The actually utilized foreign direct investment of the year was 46.8 billion US dollars, up by 14.9 percent over the previous year. By the end of 2001, China's foreign exchange reserves reached 212.2 billion US dollars, an increase of 46.6 billion US dollars as compared with that at the end of the pervious year. The exchange rate of RMB was stable. The exchange rate stood at 1 US dollar = 8.2766 RMB yuan at the end of the year, an appreciation of 15 basic points.

New progress was achieved in the adjustment of economic structure, and the overall quality and efficiency of economic performance were further improved. Agricultural production was market oriented by optimizing the varieties, qualities and structures of farm products, resulting in a production concentration of major farm products in predominant producing areas. Fast growth was kept in high and new technology industries, while technical transformation of the traditional industries was enhanced. Headway was registered in selected industries by washing off outdated technology and cutting down excessive production capacity. Investment in western regions was strengthened to some extent. The overall efficiency index for all state-owned industrial enterprises and non-state-owned enterprise with annual sales income over 5 million yuan reached 122.1 percent, or 3.4 percentage points higher over the previous year. The profits made by those enterprises stood at 465.7 billion yuan, up by 8.1 percent.

Major problems that remained in economic performance and social development included: the still prominent structural problems and deep-rooted issue in the economic system; the difficulties in life for some people due to stronger pressure for employment and the slow increase of farmers' income; the operational difficulties encountered by some enterprises due to the lack of capability in innovation and in accommodating to the market demand; the frequent occurrence of serious accidents, no fundamental change in the segmentation of domestic market as a result of the protectionist attitudes of local governments; and the persistent market disorder.

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