China’s economic growth surpasses expectations, rising by 5.3% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2024 – IAG

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) recently reported that mainland China’s economy expanded by 5.3% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2024, surpassing the forecast of 4.8% and marking a 1.6 percentage point increase from the previous quarter. The country’s gross domestic product (GDP) reached around RMB29.6 trillion (US$4.09 trillion) during this period.

Despite this growth, China’s key economic indicators – consumption, export, and investment – showed mixed results in the first quarter. The industrial sector and total consumption grew by 6.1%, falling short of the expected 6.6%. Total retail sales of consumer goods increased by approximately RMB12 trillion (US$1.66 trillion), rising by 4.7% year-on-year, slightly lower than the 5.4% forecasted. Meanwhile, investment in fixed assets climbed by RMB10 trillion (US$1.38 trillion) or 4.5% year-on-year, surpassing the expected 4% growth.

In terms of sector-specific growth, the service sector expanded by 5% in the first quarter, with notable increases in transportation, storage, postal services, and tourism-related activities. Average disposable income per capita for the quarter stood at RMB11,539 (US$1,595), reflecting a 6.2% year-on-year increase after taking price factors into account.

On a regional level, urban residents saw their per capita disposable income rise to RMB15,150 (US$2,090), a real increase of 5.3%, while rural residents experienced a higher growth rate of 7.7%, with per capita disposable income reaching RMB6,596 (US$911).

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