China - Economic Indicators

Asia-Pacific Daily Briefing: China Moves Into a Slower Lane

Jul 16, 2018

Download the Asia-Pacific Daily Briefing Asia’s economic data calendar was packed to the brim with releases from China on Monday. The data show an entrenched cooling trend across most parts of the economy. The impact of tariffs on the real economy will be visible with the July monthly data. China's GDP grew 6.7% y/y in the second quarter, down from a 6.8% expansion in the first stanza. In quarterly terms, GDP expanded 1.8% (7.4% annualized),...

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GDP Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Nominal Fixed Investment (gross fixed capital formation) May 2018 216,043 154,358 100 Mil. CNY YTD, NSA Monthly
Real Government Consumption 2016 10,535,262,849,155 9,628,641,660,000 NCU Annual
Real Fixed Investment (gross fixed capital formation) 2016 32,137,853,756,706 30,150,300,160,000 NCU Annual
Real Investment 2016 33,228,700,709,484 31,283,571,660,000 NCU Annual
Private Consumption 2016 292,661 265,980 100 Mil. CNY Annual
Government Consumption 2016 107,514 96,286 100 Mil. CNY Annual
Investment 2016 31,891,150,000,000 30,150,300,160,000 CNY Annual
Real Gross Domestic Product 2016 64,346 60,311 Bil. CNY Annual
Real Private Consumption 2010 2,191,625,284,256 2010 USD Annual
Price Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Consumer Price Index (CPI) Jun 2018 101.9 101.75 Index CPPY=100, NSA Monthly
Producer Price Index (PPI) Jun 2018 104.7 104.1 Index, Same Month of Prior Year=100, NSA Monthly
Labor Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Total Employment 2016 77,603 77,451 10 Ths. # Annual
Agriculture Employment 2016 263.22 269.98 10 Ths. # Annual
Unemployment 2016 982 966 10 Ths. # Annual
Labor Force 2016 80,694 80,091 10 Ths. # Annual
Wage & Salaries 2016 67,569 62,029 CNY Annual
Tertiary Industries Employment 2016 33,757 32,839 10 Ths. # Annual
Secondary Industries Employment 2016 22,350 22,693 10 Ths. # Annual
Labor Force Employment 2016 17,888 18,062 10 Ths. # Annual
Primary Industries Employment 2016 21,496 21,919 10 Ths. # Annual
Trade Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Balance of Goods Jun 2018 461,989,281 239,535,724 Ths. USD, SAAR Monthly
Imports of Goods Jun 2018 2,096,039,459 2,280,822,999 Ths. USD, SAAR Monthly
Exports of Goods Apr 2018 2,498,175,297 2,322,252,930 Ths. USD, SAAR Monthly
Current Account Balance 2017 Q4 62,283,312,428 34,330,661,109 USD, NSA Quarterly
Exports of Goods and Services 2016 14,617,684,515,100 15,140,694,743,400 NCU Annual
Imports of Goods and Services 2016 12,959,210,682,800 12,739,978,942,400 NCU Annual
Net Exports 2015 2,400 1,615 Bil. CNY Annual
Real Imports of Goods and Services 2014 11,797,706,804,538 11,320,283,768,100 NCU Annual
Real Exports of Goods and Services 2014 13,639,593,766,837 13,119,532,600,800 NCU Annual
Government Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Government Revenues 2016 159,604 152,269 100 Mil CNY Annual
Government Budget Balance 2016 -28,150 -23,608 100 Mil. CNY Annual
Government Expenditures 2016 187,755 175,877 100 Mil. CNY Annual
Markets Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Lending Rate Jun 2017 2.45 2.45 % - End of period Monthly
Stock Market Index 26 Jan 2017 8,179 8,179 Index, NSA Business Daily
Money Market Rate 2016 3.09 4.25 % Annual
Consumer Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Retail Sales Jun 2018 30,842 30,359 100 Mil. CNY, NSA Monthly
Personal Income 2016 120,074 112,007 100 Mil. CNY Annual
Business Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Purchasing Managers index Jun 2018 51.5 51.9 Index, SA Monthly
Industrial Production May 2018 6.8 7 %,NSA Monthly
Change in Inventories 2016 10,815 11,332 100 Mil. CNY Annual
Demographics Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Population 2016 138,271 137,462 10 Ths. # Annual
Net Migration 2012 -1,698,448 # Annual

Factbook

Background

Background:
For centuries China stood as a leading civilization, outpacing the rest of the world in the arts and sciences, but in the 19th and early 20th centuries, the country was beset by civil unrest, major famines, military defeats, and foreign occupation. After World War II, the Communist Party of China under MAO Zedong established an autocratic socialist system that, while ensuring China's sovereignty, imposed strict controls over everyday life and cost the lives of tens of millions of people. After 1978, MAO's successor DENG Xiaoping and other leaders focused on market-oriented economic development and by 2000 output had quadrupled. For much of the population, living standards have improved dramatically but political controls remain tight. Since the early 1990s, China has increased its global outreach and participation in international organizations.

Geography

Location:
Eastern Asia, bordering the East China Sea, Korea Bay, Yellow Sea, and South China Sea, between North Korea and Vietnam
Geographic coordinates:
35 00 N, 105 00 E
Map references:
Asia
Area:
total: 9,596,960 sq km
land: 9,326,410 sq km
water: 270,550 sq km
country comparison to the world: 5
Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than the US
Area comparison map:
Land boundaries:
total: 22,457 km
border countries (14): Afghanistan 91 km, Bhutan 477 km, Burma 2,129 km, India 2,659 km, Kazakhstan 1,765 km, North Korea 1,352 km, Kyrgyzstan 1,063 km, Laos 475 km, Mongolia 4,630 km, Nepal 1,389 km, Pakistan 438 km, Russia (northeast) 4,133 km, Russia (northwest) 46 km, Tajikistan 477 km, Vietnam 1,297 km
regional border(s) (2): Hong Kong 33 km, Macau 3 km
Coastline:
14,500 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
Climate:
extremely diverse; tropical in south to subarctic in north
Terrain:
mostly mountains, high plateaus, deserts in west; plains, deltas, and hills in east
Elevation:
mean elevation: 1,840 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Turpan Pendi -154 m
highest point: Mount Everest 8,848 m (highest peak in Asia and highest point on earth above sea level)
Natural resources:
coal, iron ore, petroleum, natural gas, mercury, tin, tungsten, antimony, manganese, molybdenum, vanadium, magnetite, aluminum, lead, zinc, rare earth elements, uranium, hydropower potential (world's largest), arable land
Land use:
agricultural land: 54.7%
arable land 11.3%; permanent crops 1.6%; permanent pasture 41.8%
forest: 22.3%
other: 23% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land:
690,070 sq km (2012)
Population - distribution:
overwhelming majority of the population is found in the eastern half of the country; the west, with its vast mountainous and desert areas, remains sparsely populated; though ranked first in the world in total population, overall density is less than that of many other countries in Asia and Europe; high population density is found along the Yangtze and Yellow River valleys, the Xi Jiang River delta, the Sichuan Basin (around Chengdu), in and around Beijing, and the industrial area around Shenyang
Natural hazards:
frequent typhoons (about five per year along southern and eastern coasts); damaging floods; tsunamis; earthquakes; droughts; land subsidence
volcanism: China contains some historically active volcanoes including Changbaishan (also known as Baitoushan, Baegdu, or P'aektu-san), Hainan Dao, and Kunlun although most have been relatively inactive in recent centuries
Environment - current issues:
air pollution (greenhouse gases, sulfur dioxide particulates) from reliance on coal produces acid rain; China is the world's largest single emitter of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels; water shortages, particularly in the north; water pollution from untreated wastes; coastal destruction due to land reclamation, industrial development, and aquaculture; deforestation and habitat destruction; poor land management leads to soil erosion, landslides, floods, droughts, dust storms and desertification; trade in endangered species
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
world's fourth largest country (after Russia, Canada, and US) and largest country situated entirely in Asia; Mount Everest on the border with Nepal is the world's tallest peak above sea level

People & Society

Population:
1,379,302,771 (July 2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 1
Nationality:
noun: Chinese (singular and plural)
adjective: Chinese
Ethnic groups:
Han Chinese 91.6%, Zhuang 1.3%, other (includes Hui, Manchu, Uighur, Miao, Yi, Tujia, Tibetan, Mongol, Dong, Buyei, Yao, Bai, Korean, Hani, Li, Kazakh, Dai, and other nationalities) 7.1%
note: the Chinese Government officially recognizes 56 ethnic groups (2010 est.)
Languages:
Standard Chinese or Mandarin (official; Putonghua, based on the Beijing dialect), Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghainese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, Hakka dialects, minority languages (see Ethnic groups entry)
note: Zhuang is official in Guangxi Zhuang, Yue is official in Guangdong, Mongolian is official in Nei Mongol, Uighur is official in Xinjiang Uygur, Kyrgyz is official in Xinjiang Uygur, and Tibetan is official in Xizang (Tibet)
Religions:
Buddhist 18.2%, Christian 5.1%, Muslim 1.8%, folk religion 21.9%, Hindu < 0.1%, Jewish < 0.1%, other 0.7% (includes Daoist (Taoist)), unaffiliated 52.2%
note: officially atheist (2010 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 17.15% (male 127,484,177/female 109,113,241)
15-24 years: 12.78% (male 94,215,607/female 82,050,623)
25-54 years: 48.51% (male 341,466,438/female 327,661,460)
55-64 years: 10.75% (male 74,771,050/female 73,441,177)
65 years and over: 10.81% (male 71,103,029/female 77,995,969) (2017 est.)
population pyramid:
Dependency ratios:
total dependency ratio: 37.7
youth dependency ratio: 24.3
elderly dependency ratio: 13.3
potential support ratio: 7.5
data do not include Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan (2015 est.)
Median age:
total: 37.4 years
male: 36.5 years
female: 38.4 years (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 67
Population growth rate:
0.41% (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 160
Birth rate:
12.3 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 161
Death rate:
7.8 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 101
Net migration rate:
-0.4 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 121
Population distribution:
overwhelming majority of the population is found in the eastern half of the country; the west, with its vast mountainous and desert areas, remains sparsely populated; though ranked first in the world in total population, overall density is less than that of many other countries in Asia and Europe; high population density is found along the Yangtze and Yellow River valleys, the Xi Jiang River delta, the Sichuan Basin (around Chengdu), in and around Beijing, and the industrial area around Shenyang
Urbanization:
urban population: 57.9% of total population (2017)
rate of urbanization: 2.3% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
note: data do not include Hong Kong and Macau
Major urban areas - population:
Shanghai 23.741 million; BEIJING (capital) 20.384 million; Chongqing 13.332 million; Guangdong 12.458 million; Tianjin 11.21 million; Shenzhen 10.749 million (2015)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.14 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.17 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.14 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.92 male(s)/female
total population: 1.06 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
Maternal mortality ratio:
27 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 119
Infant mortality rate:
total: 12 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 12.3 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 11.7 deaths/1,000 live births (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 122
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 75.7 years
male: 73.6 years
female: 78 years (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 102
Total fertility rate:
1.6 children born/woman (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 182
Health expenditures:
5.5% of GDP (2014)
country comparison to the world: 125
Physicians density:
3.63 physicians/1,000 population (2015)
Hospital bed density:
4.2 beds/1,000 population (2012)
Drinking water source:
improved:
urban: 97.5% of population
rural: 93% of population
total: 95.5% of population
unimproved:
urban: 2.5% of population
rural: 7% of population
total: 4.5% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access:
improved:
urban: 86.6% of population
rural: 63.7% of population
total: 76.5% of population
unimproved:
urban: 13.4% of population
rural: 36.3% of population
total: 23.5% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
NA
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
NA
Major infectious diseases:
degree of risk: intermediate
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: Japanese encephalitis
soil contact disease: hantaviral hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) (2016)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate:
6.2% (2016)
country comparison to the world: 169
Children under the age of 5 years underweight:
3.4% (2010)
country comparison to the world: 109
Education expenditures:
NA
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 96.4%
male: 98.2%
female: 94.5% (2015 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 14 years
male: 14 years
female: 14 years (2015)
People - note:
in October 2015, the Chinese Government announced that it would change its rules to allow all couples to have two children, loosening a 1979 mandate that restricted many couples to one child; the new policy was implemented on 1 January 2016 to address China’s rapidly aging population and economic needs

Government

Country name:
conventional long form: People's Republic of China
conventional short form: China
local long form: Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo
local short form: Zhongguo
abbreviation: PRC
etymology: English name derives from the Qin (Chin) rulers of the 3rd century B.C., who comprised the first imperial dynasty of ancient China; the Chinese name Zhongguo translates as "Central Nation"
Government type:
communist party-led state
Capital:
capital: Beijing
geographic coordinates: 39 55 N, 116 23 E
time difference: UTC+8 (13 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time) note; despite its size, all of China falls within one time zone
Administrative divisions:
23 provinces (sheng, singular and plural), 5 autonomous regions (zizhiqu, singular and plural), and 4 municipalities (shi, singular and plural)
provinces: Anhui, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guizhou, Hainan, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Yunnan, Zhejiang; (see note on Taiwan)
autonomous regions: Guangxi, Nei Mongol (Inner Mongolia), Ningxia, Xinjiang Uygur, Xizang (Tibet)
municipalities: Beijing, Chongqing, Shanghai, Tianjin
note: China considers Taiwan its 23rd province; see separate entries for the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau
Independence:
1 October 1949 (People's Republic of China established); notable earlier dates: 221 B.C. (unification under the Qin Dynasty); 1 January 1912 (Qing Dynasty replaced by the Republic of China)
National holiday:
National Day (anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China), 1 October (1949)
Constitution:
history: several previous; latest promulgated 4 December 1982
amendments: proposed by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress or supported by more than one-fifth of the National People’s Congress membership; passage requires more than two-thirds majority vote of the Congress membership; amended several times, last in 2018 (2018)
Legal system:
civil law influenced by Soviet and continental European civil law systems; legislature retains power to interpret statutes; note - in early 2017, the National People's Congress took the first step in adopting a new civil code by passing the General Provisions of the Civil Law
International law organization participation:
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
Citizenship:
citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: least one parent must be a citizen of China
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: while naturalization is theoretically possible, in practical terms it is extremely difficult; residency is required but not specified
Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President XI Jinping (since 14 March 2013); Vice President WANG Quishan (since 17 March 2018)
head of government: Premier LI Keqiang (since 16 March 2013); Executive Vice Premiers HAN Zheng (since 19 March 2018), SUN Chunlan (since 19 March 2018), LIU He (since 19 March 2018), HU Chunhua (since 19 March 2018)
cabinet: State Council appointed by National People's Congress
elections/appointments: president and vice president indirectly elected by National People's Congress for a 5-year term (unlimited terms); election last held on 17 March 2018 (next to be held in March 2023); premier nominated by president, confirmed by National People's Congress
election results: XI Jinping reelected president; National People's Congress vote - 2,970 (unanimously); WANG Quishan elected vice president with 2,969 votes
Legislative branch:
description: unicameral National People's Congress or Quanguo Renmin Daibiao Dahui (maximum of 3,000 seats; members indirectly elected by municipal, regional, and provincial people's congresses, and the People's Liberation Army; members serve 5-year terms); note - in practice, only members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), its 8 allied parties, and CCP-approved independent candidates are elected
elections: last held in December 2012-February 2013 (next to be held in late 2017 to early 2018)
election results: percent of vote - NA; seats by party - NA
Judicial branch:
highest court(s): Supreme People's Court (consists of over 340 judges including the chief justice, 13 grand justices organized into a civil committee and tribunals for civil, economic, administrative, complaint and appeal, and communication and transportation cases); note - in late December 2016, the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth circuit courts of the Supreme People's Court began operation
judge selection and term of office: chief justice appointed by the People's National Congress (NPC); limited to 2 consecutive 5-year-terms; other justices and judges nominated by the chief justice and appointed by the Standing Committee of the NPC; term of other justices and judges determined by the NPC
subordinate courts: Higher People's Courts; Intermediate People's Courts; District and County People's Courts; Autonomous Region People's Courts; Special People's Courts for military, maritime, transportation, and forestry issues
note: in late 2014, China unveiled planned judicial reforms
Political parties and leaders:
Chinese Communist Party or CCP [XI Jinping]
note: China has 8 nominally independent small parties controlled by the CCP
Political pressure groups and leaders:
no substantial political opposition groups exist
International organization participation:
ADB, AfDB (nonregional member), APEC, Arctic Council (observer), ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), BIS, BRICS, CDB, CICA, EAS, FAO, FATF, G-20, G-24 (observer), G-5, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, LAIA (observer), MIGA, MINURSO, MINUSMA, MONUSCO, NAM (observer), NSG, OAS (observer), OPCW, Pacific Alliance (observer), PCA, PIF (partner), SAARC (observer), SCO, SICA (observer), UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNOCI, UNSC (permanent), UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador CUI Tiankai (since 3 April 2013)
chancery: 3505 International Place NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 495-2266
FAX: [1] (202) 495-2138
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Terry BRANSTAD (since 12 July 2017)
embassy: 55 An Jia Lou Lu, 100600 Beijing
mailing address: PSC 461, Box 50, FPO AP 96521-0002
telephone: [86] (10) 8531-3000
FAX: [86] (10) 8531-3300
consulate(s) general: Chengdu, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Shenyang, Wuhan
Flag description:
red with a large yellow five-pointed star and four smaller yellow five-pointed stars (arranged in a vertical arc toward the middle of the flag) in the upper hoist-side corner; the color red represents revolution, while the stars symbolize the four social classes - the working class, the peasantry, the urban petty bourgeoisie, and the national bourgeoisie (capitalists) - united under the Communist Party of China
National symbol(s):
dragon, giant panda; national colors: red, yellow
National anthem:
name: "Yiyongjun Jinxingqu" (The March of the Volunteers)
lyrics/music: TIAN Han/NIE Er
note: adopted 1949; the anthem, though banned during the Cultural Revolution, is more commonly known as "Zhongguo Guoge" (Chinese National Song); it was originally the theme song to the 1935 Chinese movie, "Sons and Daughters in a Time of Storm"

Economy

Economy - overview:
Since the late 1970s, China has moved from a closed, centrally planned system to a more market-oriented one that plays a major global role. China has implemented reforms in a gradualist fashion, resulting in efficiency gains that have contributed to a more than tenfold increase in GDP since 1978. Reforms began with the phaseout of collectivized agriculture, and expanded to include the gradual liberalization of prices, fiscal decentralization, increased autonomy for state enterprises, growth of the private sector, development of stock markets and a modern banking system, and opening to foreign trade and investment. China continues to pursue an industrial policy, state support of key sectors, and a restrictive investment regime. Measured on a purchasing power parity (PPP) basis that adjusts for price differences, China in 2016 stood as the largest economy in the world, surpassing the US in 2014 for the first time in modern history. China became the world's largest exporter in 2010, and the largest trading nation in 2013. Still, China's per capita income is below the world average.
After keeping its currency tightly linked to the US dollar for years, China in July 2005 moved to an exchange rate system that references a basket of currencies. From mid-2005 to late 2008, the renminbi appreciated more than 20% against the US dollar, but the exchange rate remained virtually pegged to the dollar from the onset of the global financial crisis until June 2010, when Beijing announced it would allow a resumption of gradual liberalization. From 2013 until early 2015, the renminbi (RMB) appreciated roughly 2% against the dollar, but the exchange rate fell 13% from mid-2015 until end-2016 amid strong capital outflows in part stemming from the August 2015 official devaluation; in 2017 the RMB resumed appreciating against the dollar – roughly 7% from end-of-2016 to end-of-2017. From 2013 to 2017, China had one of the fastest growing economies in the world, averaging slightly more than 7% real growth per year. In 2015, the People’s Bank of China announced it would continue to carefully push for full convertibility of the renminbi, after the currency was accepted as part of the IMF’s special drawing rights basket. However, since late 2015 the Chinese Government has strengthened capital controls and oversight of overseas investments to better manage the exchange rate and maintain financial stability.
The Chinese Government faces numerous economic challenges including: (a) reducing its high domestic savings rate and correspondingly low domestic household consumption; (b) managing its high corporate debt burden to maintain financial stability; (c) controlling off-balance sheet local government debt used to finance infrastructure stimulus; (d) facilitating higher-wage job opportunities for the aspiring middle class, including rural migrants and college graduates, while maintaining competitiveness; (e) dampening speculative investment in the real estate sector without sharply slowing the economy; (f) reducing industrial overcapacity; and (g) raising productivity growth rates through the more efficient allocation of capital and state-support for innovation. Economic development has progressed further in coastal provinces than in the interior, and by 2016 more than 169.3 million migrant workers and their dependents had relocated to urban areas to find work. One consequence of China’s population control policy known as the “one-child policy” - which was relaxed in 2016 to permit all families to have two children - is that China is now one of the most rapidly aging countries in the world. Deterioration in the environment - notably air pollution, soil erosion, and the steady fall of the water table, especially in the North - is another long-term problem. China continues to lose arable land because of erosion and urbanization. The Chinese Government is seeking to add energy production capacity from sources other than coal and oil, focusing on natural gas, nuclear, and clean energy development. In 2016, China ratified the Paris Agreement, a multilateral agreement to combat climate change, and committed to peak its carbon dioxide emissions between 2025 and 2030.
The government's 13th Five-Year Plan, unveiled in March 2016, emphasizes the need to increase innovation and boost domestic consumption to make the economy less dependent on government investment, exports, and heavy industry. However, China has made more progress on subsidizing innovation than rebalancing the economy. Beijing has committed to giving the market a more decisive role in allocating resources, but the Chinese Government’s policies continue to favor state-owned enterprises and emphasize stability. Chinese leaders in 2010 pledged to double China’s GDP by 2020, and the 13th Five Year Plan includes annual economic growth targets of at least 6.5% through 2020 to achieve that goal. In recent years, China has renewed its support for state-owned enterprises in sectors considered important to "economic security," explicitly looking to foster globally competitive industries. Chinese leaders also have undermined some market-oriented reforms by reaffirming the “dominant” role of the state in the economy, a stance that threatens to discourage private initiative and make the economy less efficient over time. The slight acceleration in economic growth in 2017—the first such uptick since 2010—gives Beijing more latitude to pursue its economic reforms, focusing on financial sector deleveraging and its Supply-Side Structural Reform agenda, first announced in late 2015.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$23.12 trillion (2017 est.)
$21.66 trillion (2016 est.)
$20.3 trillion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
country comparison to the world: 1
GDP (official exchange rate):
$11.94 trillion (2017 est.)
note: because China's exchange rate is determined by fiat rather than by market forces, the official exchange rate measure of GDP is not an accurate measure of China's output; GDP at the official exchange rate substantially understates the actual level of China's output vis-a-vis the rest of the world; in China's situation, GDP at purchasing power parity provides the best measure for comparing output across countries
GDP - real growth rate:
6.8% (2017 est.)
6.7% (2016 est.)
6.9% (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 13
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$16,600 (2017 est.)
$15,700 (2016 est.)
$14,800 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
country comparison to the world: 106
Gross national saving:
45.4% of GDP (2017 est.)
45.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
47.5% of GDP (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 4
GDP - composition, by end use:
household consumption: 39.1%
government consumption: 14.6%
investment in fixed capital: 43.3%
investment in inventories: 1.1%
exports of goods and services: 19.6%
imports of goods and services: -17.7% (2017 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of origin:
agriculture: 8.2%
industry: 39.5%
services: 52.2%
(2017 est.)
Agriculture - products:
world leader in gross value of agricultural output; rice, wheat, potatoes, corn, tobacco, peanuts, tea, apples, cotton, pork, mutton, eggs; fish, shrimp
Industries:
world leader in gross value of industrial output; mining and ore processing, iron, steel, aluminum, and other metals, coal; machine building; armaments; textiles and apparel; petroleum; cement; chemicals; fertilizer; consumer products (including footwear, toys, and electronics); food processing; transportation equipment, including automobiles, railcars and locomotives, ships, aircraft; telecommunications equipment, commercial space launch vehicles, satellites
Industrial production growth rate:
6.2% (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 32
Labor force:
806.7 million
note: by the end of 2012, China's population at working age (15-64 years) was 1.004 billion (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 1
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 28.3%
industry: 29.3%
services: 42.4%
(2016 est.)
Unemployment rate:
4% (2017 est.)
4% (2016 est.)
note: data are for registered urban unemployment, which excludes private enterprises and migrants
country comparison to the world: 48
Population below poverty line:
3.3%
note: in 2011, China set a new poverty line at RMB 2300 (approximately US $400)
(2016 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 2.1%
highest 10%: 31.4%
note: data are for urban households only (2012 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
46.5 (2016 est.)
46.2 (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 31
Budget:
revenues: $2.672 trillion
expenditures: $3.146 trillion (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues:
22.4% of GDP (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 134
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
-4% of GDP (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 143
Public debt:
18.6% of GDP (2017 est.)
16.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
note: official data; data cover both central government debt and local government debt, including debt officially recognized by China's National Audit Office report in 2011; data exclude policy bank bonds, Ministry of Railway debt, and China Asset Management Company debt
country comparison to the world: 190
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
1.8% (2017 est.)
2% (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 82
Central bank discount rate:
2.25% (5 December 2017 est.)
2.25% (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 115
Commercial bank prime lending rate:
4.4% (5 December 2017 est.)
4.35% (30 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 154
Stock of narrow money:
$8.16 trillion (31 October 2017 est.)
$7.001 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 1
Stock of broad money:
$25.24 trillion (October 2017 est.)
$22.3 trillion (December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 1
Stock of domestic credit:
$26.87 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$23.02 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 1
Market value of publicly traded shares:
$7.321 trillion (31 November 2017 est.)
$8.188 trillion (December 2016 est.)
$6.005 trillion (December 2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 2
Current account balance:
$162.5 billion (2017 est.)
$196.4 billion (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 4
Exports:
$2.157 trillion (2017 est.)
$1.99 trillion (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 1
Exports - commodities:
electrical and other machinery, including computers and telecommunications equipment, apparel, furniture, textiles
Exports - partners:
US 18.2%, Hong Kong 13.8%, Japan 6.1%, South Korea 4.5% (2016)
Imports:
$1.731 trillion (2017 est.)
$1.495 trillion (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 2
Imports - commodities:
electrical and other machinery, including integrated circuits and other computer components, oil and mineral fuels; optical and medical equipment, metal ores, motor vehicles; soybeans
Imports - partners:
South Korea 10%, Japan 9.2%, US 8.5%, Germany 5.4%, Australia 4.4% (2016)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$3.194 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$3.098 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 1
Debt - external:
$1.649 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.467 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 14
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$1.514 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.391 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 6
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$1.342 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.227 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 12
Exchange rates:
Renminbi yuan (RMB) per US dollar -
7.76 (2017 est.)
6.64 (2016 est.)
6.23 (2015 est.)
6.14 (2014 est.)
6.2 (2013 est.)

Energy

Electricity access:
population without electricity: 1,200,000
electrification - total population: 99.9%
electrification - urban areas: 100%
electrification - rural areas: 99.8% (2016)
Electricity - production:
6.142 trillion kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 1
Electricity - consumption:
5.92 trillion kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 1
Electricity - exports:
18.91 billion kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 11
Electricity - imports:
6.185 billion kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 34
Electricity - installed generating capacity:
1.646 billion kW (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 2
Electricity - from fossil fuels:
64% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 117
Electricity - from nuclear fuels:
2% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 28
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:
20.2% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 88
Electricity - from other renewable sources:
13.7% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 53
Crude oil - production:
3.981 million bbl/day (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 6
Crude oil - exports:
32,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 47
Crude oil - imports:
6.167 million bbl/day (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 2
Crude oil - proved reserves:
25.62 billion bbl (1 January 2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 13
Refined petroleum products - production:
10.85 million bbl/day (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 3
Refined petroleum products - consumption:
11.75 million bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 3
Refined petroleum products - exports:
709,900 bbl/day (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 10
Refined petroleum products - imports:
971,900 bbl/day (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 6
Natural gas - production:
138.4 billion cu m (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 6
Natural gas - consumption:
210.3 billion cu m (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 6
Natural gas - exports:
3.243 billion cu m (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 35
Natural gas - imports:
75.1 billion cu m (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 5
Natural gas - proved reserves:
5.194 trillion cu m (1 January 2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 10
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
9.135 billion Mt (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 1

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines:
total subscriptions: 206.624 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 15 (July 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 2
Telephones - mobile cellular:
total: 1,364.934 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 99 (July 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 1
Telephone system:
general assessment: domestic and international services are available for private use; unevenly distributed domestic system serves principal cities, industrial centers, and many towns; China continues to develop its telecommunications infrastructure; China in the summer of 2008 began a major restructuring of its telecommunications industry, resulting in the consolidation of its six telecom service operators to three, China Telecom, China Mobile, and China Unicom, each providing both fixed-line and mobile services (2016)
domestic: interprovincial fiber-optic trunk lines and cellular telephone systems have been installed; mobile-cellular subscribership is increasing rapidly; the number of Internet users now over 55% of the population; a domestic satellite system with several earth stations is in place (2018)
international: country code - 86; a number of submarine cables provide connectivity to Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and the US; satellite earth stations - 7 (5 Intelsat - 4 Pacific Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean; 1 Intersputnik - Indian Ocean region; and 1 Inmarsat - Pacific and Indian Ocean regions) (2012)
Broadcast media:
all broadcast media are owned by, or affiliated with, the Communist Party of China or a government agency; no privately owned TV or radio stations; state-run Chinese Central TV, provincial, and municipal stations offer more than 2,000 channels; the Central Propaganda Department sends directives to all domestic media outlets to guide
Internet country code:
.cn
Internet users:
total: 730,723,960
percent of population: 53.2% (July 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 1

Transportation

National air transport system:
number of registered air carriers: 56
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 2,890
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 436,183,969
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 19.806 billion mt-km (2015)
Civil aircraft registration country code prefix:
B (2016)
Airports:
507 (2013)
country comparison to the world: 14
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 463
over 3,047 m: 71
2,438 to 3,047 m: 158
1,524 to 2,437 m: 123
914 to 1,523 m: 25
under 914 m: 86 (2017)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 44
over 3,047 m: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 7
1,524 to 2,437 m: 6
914 to 1,523 m: 9
under 914 m: 18 (2013)
Heliports:
47 (2013)
Pipelines:
gas 70,000 km; crude oil 22,900 km; refined petroleum products 25,500 km; water 710,206 km (2015)
Railways:
total: 124,000 km
standard gauge: 124,000 km 1.435-m gauge (80,000 km electrified); 102,000 traditional, 22,000 high-speed (2017)
country comparison to the world: 2
Roadways:
total: 4,577,300 km
paved: 4,046,300 km (includes 123,500 km of expressways)
unpaved: 531,000 km (2015)
country comparison to the world: 3
Waterways:
110,000 km (navigable waterways) (2011)
country comparison to the world: 1
Merchant marine:
total: 4,287
by type: bulk carrier 1,069, container ship 198, general cargo 697, oil tanker 480, other 1,843 (2017)
country comparison to the world: 4
Ports and terminals:
major seaport(s): Dalian, Ningbo, Qingdao, Qinhuangdao, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Tianjin
river port(s): Guangzhou (Pearl)
container port(s) (TEUs): Dalian (9,591,000), Guangzhou (17,097,000), Ningbo (20,636,000), Qingdao (17,323,000), Shanghai (36,516,000), Shenzhen (24,142,000), Tianjin (13,881,000)(2015)
LNG terminal(s) (import): Fujian, Guangdong, Jiangsu, Shandong, Shanghai, Tangshan, Zhejiang
Transportation - note:
seven of the world’s ten largest container ports are in China

Military & Security

Military expenditures:
1.9% of GDP (2016)
1.95% of GDP (2015)
1.9% of GDP (2014)
1.85% of GDP (2013)
1.84% of GDP (2012)
country comparison to the world: 50
Military branches:
People's Liberation Army (PLA): Army, Navy (PLAN, includes marines and naval aviation), Air Force (Zhongguo Renmin Jiefangjun Kongjun, PLAAF, includes airborne forces), Rocket Force (strategic missile force), and Strategic Support Force (space and cyber forces); People's Armed Police (Renmin Wuzhuang Jingcha Budui, PAP); PLA Reserve Force (2016)
Military service age and obligation:
18-22 years of age for selective compulsory military service, with a 2-year service obligation; no minimum age for voluntary service (all officers are volunteers); 18-19 years of age for women high school graduates who meet requirements for specific military jobs; a recent military decision allows women in combat roles; the first class of women warship commanders was in 2011 (2012)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international:
continuing talks and confidence-building measures work toward reducing tensions over Kashmir that nonetheless remains militarized with portions under the de facto administration of China (Aksai Chin), India (Jammu and Kashmir), and Pakistan (Azad Kashmir and Northern Areas); India does not recognize Pakistan's ceding historic Kashmir lands to China in 1964; China and India continue their security and foreign policy dialogue started in 2005 related to the dispute over most of their rugged, militarized boundary, regional nuclear proliferation, and other matters; China claims most of India's Arunachal Pradesh to the base of the Himalayas; lacking any treaty describing the boundary, Bhutan and China continue negotiations to establish a common boundary alignment to resolve territorial disputes arising from substantial cartographic discrepancies, the most contentious of which lie in Bhutan's west along China's Chumbi salient; Burmese forces attempting to dig in to the largely autonomous Shan State to rout local militias tied to the drug trade, prompts local residents to periodically flee into neighboring Yunnan Province in China; Chinese maps show an international boundary symbol off the coasts of the littoral states of the South China Seas, where China has interrupted Vietnamese hydrocarbon exploration; China asserts sovereignty over Scarborough Reef along with the Philippines and Taiwan, and over the Spratly Islands together with Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Brunei; the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea eased tensions in the Spratlys but is not the legally binding code of conduct sought by some parties; Vietnam and China continue to expand construction of facilities in the Spratlys and in March 2005, the national oil companies of China, the Philippines, and Vietnam signed a joint accord on marine seismic activities in the Spratly Islands;
China occupies some of the Paracel Islands also claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan; the Japanese-administered Senkaku Islands are also claimed by China and Taiwan; certain islands in the Yalu and Tumen Rivers are in dispute with North Korea; North Korea and China seek to stem illegal migration to China by North Koreans, fleeing privations and oppression, by building a fence along portions of the border and imprisoning North Koreans deported by China; China and Russia have demarcated the once disputed islands at the Amur and Ussuri confluence and in the Argun River in accordance with their 2004 Agreement; China and Tajikistan have begun demarcating the revised boundary agreed to in the delimitation of 2002; the decade-long demarcation of the China-Vietnam land boundary was completed in 2009; citing environmental, cultural, and social concerns, China has reconsidered construction of 13 dams on the Salween River, but, as of 2016, energy-starved Burma, with backing from Thailand, remained intent on building seven hydro-electric dams downstream despite regional and international protests
Chinese and Hong Kong authorities met in March 2008 to resolve ownership and use of lands recovered in Shenzhen River channelization, including 96-hectare Lok Ma Chau Loop
Refugees and internally displaced persons:
refugees (country of origin): 317,098 (Vietnam); undetermined (North Korea) (2016)
IDPs: undetermined (2014)
Trafficking in persons:
current situation: China is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor; Chinese adults and children are forced into prostitution and various forms of forced labor, including begging and working in brick kilns, coal mines, and factories; women and children are recruited from rural areas and taken to urban centers for sexual exploitation, often lured by criminal syndicates or gangs with fraudulent job offers; state-sponsored forced labor, where detainees work for up to four years often with no remuneration, continues to be a serious concern; Chinese men, women, and children also may be subjected to conditions of sex trafficking and forced labor worldwide, particularly in overseas Chinese communities; women and children are trafficked to China from neighboring countries, as well as Africa and the Americas, for forced labor and prostitution
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - China does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; official data for 2014 states that 194 alleged traffickers were arrested and at least 35 were convicted, but the government’s conflation of human trafficking with other crimes makes it difficult to assess law enforcement efforts to investigate and to prosecute trafficking offenses according to international law; despite reports of complicity, no government officials were investigated, prosecuted, or convicted for their roles in trafficking offenses; authorities did not adequately protect victims and did not provide the data needed to ascertain the number of victims identified or assisted or the services provided; the National People’s Congress ratified a decision to abolish “reform through labor” in 2013, but some continued to operate as state-sponsored drug detention or “custody and education” centers that force inmates to perform manual labor; some North Korean refugees continued to be forcibly repatriated as illegal economic migrants, despite reports that some were trafficking victims (2015)
Illicit drugs:
major transshipment point for heroin produced in the Golden Triangle region of Southeast Asia; growing domestic consumption of synthetic drugs, and heroin from Southeast and Southwest Asia; source country for methamphetamine and heroin chemical precursors, despite new regulations on its large chemical industry; more people believed to be convicted and executed for drug offences than anywhere else in the world, according to NGOs

Economic Indicators for China including actual values, historical data, and latest data updates for the China economy.