China Economic Quarterly Q4 2021

China’s GDP growth slowed to 4.0% in Q4 but still registered an increase of 8.1% in 2021, while average growth rate for 2020 and 2021 reached 5.1%. 

This issue provides an overview of the macroeconomic trends in Q4 2021, some policy updates and hot topic analysis.


china economic quarterly q3 2021


china economic quarterly q3 2021

Here are some macro-economic highlights:

  1. Total GDP reached 114.4 trillion yuan with growth of 4.0% in Q4 and 8.1% in 2021
  2. Total fixed asset investment reached 54.45 trillion yuan and increased by 4.9%
  3. Total real estate investment went up 4.4% to reach 14.76 trillion yuan
  4. PMI dropped to near 50% in Q4 and was 50.3% in December
  5. Industrial added values grew 9.6% in 2021
  6. Total retail sales of consumer goods rose 12.5% to reach 44.08 trillion 
  7. Imports and exports increased by 21.4% to reach 39.10 trillion yuan
  8. PPI maintained at high level and CPI remained flat in Q4

Policy updates

Growth of aggregate financing to the real economy reduced by 3.44 trillion yuan in 2021
According to People’s Bank of China (PBoC), total aggregate financing to the real economy (AFRE) increased by 31.35 trillion yuan in 2021, which was 3.44 trillion yuan less than in 2020 but 5.68 trillion yuan more than in 2019.

Fiscal revenue increased by 10.7% while fiscal spending stayed flat
In 2021, fiscal revenue recorded a stable growth as a result of economic recovery and the rising industrial producer price index. The national public budget revenue grew by 10.7% year-on-year to 20.25 trillion yuan, an increase of 6.4% compared to 2019. It nearly doubled compared to 11.73 trillion yuan in 2012.

Hot topic analysis: China’s 14th Five-Year Plan on Digital Economy Development

In January 2022, China’s State Council, the Central People’s Government released its “14th Five-Year Plan on Digital Economy Development”. This is the first time that China lists digital economy as one of the top priorities for national economic development. It is the supplement and extension of the fifth chapter (Accelerating Digital Development and Building a Digital China) of the “14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) for National Economic and Social Development and the Long-Range Objectives Through the Year 2035” announced in early 2021. 

Implications and opportunities

  • Added value of core industries in the digital economy is expected to account for more than 8% in 2022. This means that the economic size of the main part of the digital economy is at least nine trillion yuan in China.
  • The development of the digital economy will boost the rapid progress of the following technologies: cloud computing, big data, Internet of things (IoT), Industrial Internet, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Virtual reality and augmented reality.
  • Industrial digital transformation will create business and investment opportunities for many sectors, including: Smart agriculture and smart water conservancy, Industrial digital transformation application pilot, Innovation and development of Industrial Internet, Digital proficiency of business, Smart logistics, Digital transformation of the financial sector and energy sector.
  • There are also enormous business opportunities associated with improving the digital level of public services, advancing governance system of the digital economy, strengthening security system of the digital economy, and expanding international cooperation in the digital economy, such as the development of trade digitisation and the development of the digital silk road. Many other sectors and industries, for example, healthcare, education, culture and tourism, and even community services will be remodelled or reshaped in the era of digital economy.

Previous issues of China Economic Quarterly

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