China’s economic recovery picks up steam with improving key indicators

China’s economic recovery continues to gain steam with key economic indicators further improving in September.

The country’s electricity consumption, a key barometer of economic activity, increased by 7.2 percent year-on-year last month, up 2.8 percentage points from the same period last year. From January to September, total power use grew 1.3 percent year-on-year.

Workers assemble vehicles in a smart factory of Chang’an Kuayue Automobile Co., Ltd. in Wanzhou District, southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality, Sept. 23, 2020. (Xinhua/Wang Quanchao)

The steady growth of electricity consumption demonstrates a sound momentum of greater market vitality and economic recovery. Statistics from the State Grid show that monthly electricity sales have achieved positive growth since May, with the growth rate reaching 9.8 percent in August.

An executive with the China Electricity Council said that the rebound in electricity consumption is mainly being driven by the recovery of the economy.

In the State Grid’s operating areas, China’s equipment manufacturing industry used 413.6 billion kWh of electricity in the first three quarters of the year, equivalent to 100.7 percent of the same period last year. Last month, power consumption by the automobile manufacturing industry, the general equipment manufacturing industry, communications and other electronic equipment manufacturing industries, and the electrical machinery and equipment manufacturing industry all grew by more than 15 percent.

Meanwhile, China’s transportation service is speeding up its recovery. During the first three quarters, the country’s railways transported more than 1.48 billion passengers, and over 2.62 billion tons of cargo, up 4.8 percent year-on-year, according to statistics from China State Railway Group Co., Ltd. (China Railway).

“Both the railway passenger volume and freight volume have exceeded expectations in the first three quarters of the year,” said a China Railway executive.

Since the beginning of this year, China’s railway freight service has injected strong momentum into the prevention and control of the COVID-19 epidemic, economic and social development, which indicates the accelerated recovery of the country’s economy, the executive added.

Statistics from the Ministry of Transport show that China’s ports saw cargo throughput rise 3 percent year-on-year to more than 10.6 billion tons in the first three quarters, including the foreign trade cargo throughput of 3.3 billion tons, up 4.2 percent year-on-year.

Experts said that the year-on-year growth of China’s cargo throughput at ports in the first three quarters demonstrates the strong resilience and vitality of the country’s economy. 

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