Our reporter Pei Yu reported from Beijing
With the gradual resumption of work and production in some areas affected by the new crown pneumonia epidemic, the order of production and life has been restored in an orderly manner, and a series of policies to promote steady consumption growth have been implemented. Economic data picked up in May, and the decline in total retail sales of social consumer goods narrowed.
According to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics on June 15, the total retail sales of consumer goods exceeded 3.3 trillion yuan in May, down 6.7% year-on-year, and the decline was 4.4 percentage points lower than that in April. The added value of industrial enterprises above designated size increased by 0.7% year-on-year, up 3.6 percentage points from April. From January to May, infrastructure investment increased by 6.7% year-on-year, an increase of 0.2 percentage points over the previous four months.
Regarding the economic situation in the second quarter, Fu Linghui, a spokesman for the National Bureau of Statistics, said at a press conference of the State Council Information Office that due to the complex and severe international environment, the impact of domestic epidemics and other unexpected factors, the downward pressure on the economic operation in the second quarter increased. However, with the implementation of a package of policies and measures to stabilize growth, it is expected that the economic performance in June will be further improved, and the economy is expected to achieve reasonable growth in the second quarter.
Market sales continue to recover
There were positive changes in economic performance in May, and domestic demand recovered. According to data from the National Bureau of Statistics, in May 2022, the total retail sales of consumer goods fell by 6.7% year-on-year, a decrease of 4.4 percentage points from the previous month. At the same time, investment grew steadily: From January to May, fixed asset investment increased by 6.2% year-on-year, remaining basically stable, of which infrastructure investment increased by 6.7%, 0.2 percentage points faster than the growth rate from January to April.
Zhao Ping, vice president of the Research Institute of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, said in an interview with a reporter from China Business News that the recovery of consumption data in May was basically in line with expectations. The decline in consumption data in April was due to the partial suspension of the supply side due to the disruption of the epidemic. Since May, with the progress of resumption of work and production, the efficiency of the supply chain has been significantly improved, and the downward pressure on consumption caused by supply constraints has been significantly improved.
From the perspective of commodity categories, among the retail sales of units above designated size in May, the retail sales of over 80% of the commodities by category value improved compared with that in April, and the retail sales of half of the commodities increased by category value. Among them, the retail sales of some consumption-upgraded commodities improved. In May, the decline in retail sales of cosmetics, gold and silver jewelry, sports and entertainment supplies, cultural office supplies and communication equipment in units above designated size narrowed by 11.3, 11.2, 11.8, 1.5 and 14.1 percentage points respectively compared with April.
It is worth noting that the sales of basic living goods rebounded significantly. Data show that in May, the retail sales of grain, oil, food, and beverages of units above designated size increased by 12.3% and 7.7% year-on-year, respectively, and the growth rate was 2.3 and 1.7 percentage points higher than that in April; tobacco and alcohol increased by 3.8%, which was a decline in April. 7%; the decline in retail sales of clothing, shoes and hats, knitted textiles and daily necessities narrowed by 6.6 and 3.5 percentage points respectively compared with April.
“Since this year, per capita disposable income has basically kept pace with GDP. In the first quarter, per capita disposable income increased by 5.1% year-on-year, and the growth rate was higher than that of GDP in the first quarter, and consumption capacity continued to improve.” Zhao Ping said.
The effect of a series of policies to expand consumption has gradually emerged. Since May, preferential policies such as the purchase tax on new energy vehicles have been favorable, which have obviously driven consumption. According to data released by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, in May, the national automobile production and sales were 1.926 million and 1.862 million respectively, up 59.7% and 57.6% from the previous month, showing a significant recovery growth. Among them, new energy vehicles performed well, with production and sales exceeding 400,000 units in May, returning to rapid growth year-on-year. From January to May, the production and sales of new energy vehicles exceeded 2 million, and the China Automobile Association predicts that the annual sales will exceed 5 million.
The proportion of online consumption continues to increase
Fu Jiaqi, a statistician from the Department of Trade and Foreign Economic Relations of the National Bureau of Statistics, mentioned in his interpretation of the total retail sales of consumer goods in May that the growth rate of physical online retail sales has accelerated, and the sales of self-service retail formats such as supermarkets are better than the overall.
Statistics from the Bureau of Statistics show that from January to May, the national online retail sales of physical goods increased by 5.6% year-on-year, 0.4 percentage points faster than the growth rate from January to April; it accounted for 24.9% of the total retail sales of consumer goods, an increase from January to April. 1.1 percentage points. At the same time, the postal express industry, which is closely related to online shopping, has rebounded significantly. Statistics from the State Post Bureau show that China’s express delivery development index was 269.2 in May, an increase of 11.6% month-on-month; the volume of express delivery business increased by 20.6% month-on-month.
From the perspective of retail formats, among retail stores with stores, self-service retail formats such as supermarkets that are closely related to basic life and community retail stores have better sales growth. From January to May, the retail sales of supermarkets and warehouse membership stores above designated size increased by 4% and 12.3% year-on-year respectively, and the retail sales of grocery stores and convenience stores with high convenience increased by 1.2% and 4.7% year-on-year, respectively. The retail sales of units above designated size decreased by 0.3%.
The “Report on the Development of China’s Consumption Promoting Digital Intelligence Development (2022)” released on the same day as the May economic data shows that my country’s consumption structure is in a trend of continuous upgrading, and the consumer market has strong resilience. The new type of consumption is showing a trend of accelerating growth.
In 2021, the national online retail sales will reach 13 trillion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 14.1%. Among them, the online retail sales of physical goods exceeded 10 trillion yuan for the first time, reaching 10.8 trillion yuan. In 2021, online retail sales of physical goods will account for 24.5% of the total retail sales of consumer goods, and contribute 23.6% to the growth of total retail sales of consumer goods. The online retail market has maintained steady growth and has become an important force for stabilizing growth, ensuring employment and promoting consumption.
Shen Jianguang, chief economist of Jingdong Group, said that using digital and intelligent means to promote consumption recovery has become a key measure to deal with the impact of the epidemic and promote economic recovery. As the decline in consumption narrows and online consumption picks up, digital technology, especially the issuance of consumer coupons, can achieve multiple effects in boosting the economy.
Zhao Ping told reporters that digital intelligence has created new consumer products, consumption channels and consumption methods. “With the widespread application of digital technologies including artificial intelligence, many products are facing upgrading and intelligent transformation, which will lead to consumers’ demand for consumption upgrades, thereby creating new consumption highlights, such as smart home appliances, smart connected cars, etc. Wait,” she said.
In addition, the innovation of consumption channels and consumption methods has also greatly improved the convenience of consumption. Zhao Ping said that digital intelligence can better meet consumers’ personalized consumption needs, thereby increasing their willingness to consume.
Multiple measures to boost consumption
my country’s economy has gradually overcome the adverse impact of the epidemic, showing a momentum of recovery. Regarding the economic situation in the second quarter, Fu Linghui said that due to the complex and severe international environment, the impact of domestic epidemics and other unexpected factors, the downward pressure on the economic operation in the second quarter increased.
In the face of the complex and severe external environment and the downward pressure on the economy brought about by the impact of the domestic epidemic, on the basis of the original policies and measures to stabilize growth, the State Council further issued a package of policy measures to stabilize the economy in May. measures to stabilize the economy. “These measures are expected to take effect gradually in June, which will promote the recovery of the economy.” Fu Linghui said that if the epidemic can be effectively controlled and various measures to stabilize growth are implemented and effective, with the joint efforts of all parties, the economy is expected to be realized in the second quarter. reasonable growth.
Zhao Ping believes that the current weak consumption expectations need a policy boost. On the one hand, it will enhance consumer confidence by guaranteeing residents’ income growth expectations; on the other hand, through promotional activities, such as the issuance of consumer coupons by governments across the country, in conjunction with “6.18” to form a promotional atmosphere, and to provide consumer subsidies for home appliances, automobiles and other products. consumption expectations.
Li Mingtao, chief e-commerce expert of China International E-Commerce Center, told reporters that data can be accumulated through digital and intelligent channels and means to serve consumption more accurately. He believes that from the perspective of the realization path, a long-term process is required. “In the beginning, we moved consumer coupons from offline to online. Through such a platform entrance, the government can better manage merchants, see statistical data, and evaluate the effect of policy implementation. With the gradual improvement of platform functions, In the future, it can become a data platform that connects the government, businesses, and consumers with precise services, which is the direction of the value of digital intelligence to boost consumption.”