Review of the Statistical Communiqué of the People's Republic of China on the 2022 National Economic and Social Development

2023-09-05 16:29:13

Review of the Statistical Communiqué of the People's Republic of China on the 2022 National Economic and Social Development


Sheng Laiyun, Deputy Director-General of the National Bureau of Statistics


In 2022, China's economic and social development has been affected by multiple unexpected factors at home and abroad, which poses unprecedented risks and challenges. Internationally, our world is facing growing uncertainties and destabilizing factors with drastic changes and a pandemic both unseen in a century, complex evolution of the Ukraine crisis, and an increasing stagflation risk in the world economy. Domestically, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic still lingers, natural disasters such as high temperature and drought occur frequently, the triple pressures of shrinking demand, disrupted supply and weakening expectations are superimposed, and it is more difficult to maintain steady growth and employment. In the face of a volatile and complex situation abroad and the challenging tasks of advancing reform and development and ensuring stability at home, the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, has united and led the entire Chinese nation, insisted on pursuing progress while ensuring stability, fully, accurately and faithfully implemented the new development philosophy, accelerated the construction of a new development pattern, decisively strengthened the implementation of macro policies, effectively responded to the impact of unexpected factors, achieved stable macroeconomic performance, promoted the steady improvement of development quality, and maintained the overall social harmony and stability. The newly released Statistical Communiqué of the People's Republic of China on the 2022 National Economic and Social Development comprehensively records the process of the whole party and the people of all ethnic groups in China in forging ahead despite pressure, and vividly demonstrates the new achievements made in socialist modernization.

I. A New Level of Economic Strength

In 2022, the first quarter had a better-than-expected start, but the economy had declined in the early part of the second quarter due to the impact of unexpected factors. Facing these difficulties, the CPC Central Committee and the State Council made decisive decisions and timely introduced a package of policies and follow-up measures to stabilize the economy. All regions and departments better coordinated pandemic prevention and control and economic and social development, actively improved the effectiveness of fiscal policies, accelerated the implementation of a new package of tax-and-fee policies to support enterprises, pursued a prudent monetary policy in a flexible and appropriate way, and maintained reasonably adequate liquidity, stabilizing and revitalizing the overall economy in the third quarter. Although the impact of the pandemic increased again in the fourth quarter, the overall recovery trend continued with the joint efforts of all parties. Despite the pressure, China's economy grew by 3.0% in 2022, leading the growth rate among the world's top major economies in terms of economic volume, with the economic aggregate continuing to expand, the development foundation getting more solid, and the composite national strength being further strengthened. China's economic aggregate exceeded RMB 120 trillion. In 2022, China's GDP reached RMB 121 trillion, a new level following the successive breakthroughs of RMB 100 trillion and RMB 110 trillion in 2020 and 2021, respectively. At an annual average exchange rate, China's economic aggregate reached USD 18 trillion, ranking second in the world. The per capita GDP was RMB 85,698, or USD 12,741 at the annual average exchange rate, continuing to remain above USD 12,000. The position of agriculture as the foundation of the economy was further consolidated. We made clearer the responsibilities for grain production, stepped up policies to support and benefit agriculture, raised overall agricultural production capacity, and set a new record for grain output. The total output of grain in 2022 was 686.55 million tons, an increase of 0.5% over the previous year, and stable for eight years in a row at over 650 million tons. Solid progress was made in the project to increase soybean and oil-bearing crops production capacity. In 2022, China's output of soybean and oil-bearing crops increased by 23.7% and 1.1% respectively over the previous year. Steady growth was seen in livestock production, with the output of pork, beef, mutton and poultry increasing by 3.8%. The role of industrial "ballast stone" was highlighted. In 2022, the total value added of the industrial sector exceeded RMB 40 trillion for the first time, of which the value added of the manufacturing sector reached RMB 33.5 trillion, indicating that China continues to maintain the status of the world's first manufacturing power. Energy supply guarantee achieved remarkable results. Against the fluctuations in the international energy market, we strengthened domestic coal supply guarantees and oil and gas reserves and production, coordinated efforts to ensure the supply of coal, electricity, oil, gas and transportation services, effectively responded to severe challenges such as extreme heat and drought in China, and ensured that people's livelihood and production were well protected. In 2022, the output of raw coal was 4.56 billion tons, an increase of 10.5% over the previous year; Crude oil output reached 204.72 million tons, rebounding to more than 200 million tons for the first time since 2016; Natural gas output increased by 6.0%, exceeding 10 billion cubic meters for six consecutive years. Infrastructure construction was strengthened. At the end of 2022, China's railway operating mileage reached 155,000 kilometers, of which 42,000 kilometers of high-speed railways, ranking first in the world. Information and communication capabilities were comprehensively improved. By the end of 2022, there were 10.83 million mobile phone base stations, among which the number of 5G base stations was 2.31 million, accounting for more than 60% of the world, building the world's largest and technologically advanced network infrastructure.

II. Overall Stability of Employment and Prices

In 2022, under the complex and severe situation both at home and abroad and the impact of the pandemic, enterprises faced difficulties in production and operation, with declined employment absorption capacity and increased employment difficulties for rural migrant workers. At the same time, the number of college graduates exceeded 10 million, hitting a record high, the pressure on total employment and structural problems became prominent, the shortage of international commodity supply brought about rising imported inflationary pressure, and the challenge of stabilizing employment and prices increased. All regions and departments gave greater priority to stabilizing employment and prices, made every effort to ease the difficulties of enterprises to stabilize and increase employment, enhanced the role of business startups in boosting employment, increased employment assistance for key groups, provided good employment services and guaranteed their basic needs, promoted the coordination of the production and supply of essential commodities, and strengthened the implementation of the market price control mechanism, fully ensuring supply and price stability, and protecting the overall stability in employment and prices. Employment remained generally stable. In 2022, 12.06 million urban jobs were created across the country, exceeding the annual target of 11 million. The surveyed urban unemployment rate decreased overall. Affected by the pandemic and other factors, the surveyed urban unemployment rate in China rose to 6.1% in April 2022. With the gradual implementation of measures to stabilize employment, the employment situation generally improved, and the surveyed urban unemployment rate dropped to 5.5% by the end of the year. The employment of migrant workers and other key groups was effectively guaranteed. In 2022, the total number of migrant workers was 295.62 million, up by 1.1% over that of 2021. Consumer prices grew moderately. While effectively implementing a prudent monetary policy, refusing to flood the economy with mass stimulus or excessive money supply, and laying a solid foundation for the stable operation of prices, we continued to ensure stable production and supply, properly regulate reserves, and strengthened coordination of production, transportation and sales, so as to ensure the overall stability of market prices. In 2022, the monthly increase of China's consumer price index (CPI) remained below 3%, and was only 2.0% for the whole year, which was significantly lower than the increase of developed economies such as 8.0% in the United States, 8.4% in the euro area, and 9.1% in the United Kingdom, and was also significantly lower than that of emerging economies such as India, Brazil, and South Africa, which ranged from 6% to 10%. "China's price stability" and "global inflation" formed an extremely sharp contrast.

III. Continuous Growth of New Drivers

In 2022, the international market competition became more intense, external suppression against China's science and technology sector continued, and the risk of decoupling and supply chain disruption increased. China firmly implemented the innovation-driven development strategy, solidly promoted innovation, business startups and creativity, deepened reform of scientific and technological systems and mechanisms, increased incentives for enterprise innovation, vigorously stimulated innovation vitality, and strengthened research in key and core technologies, continuously enhancing the national strategic scientific and technological strength, producing major scientific and technological achievements, and growing new drivers for development. Innovation input and output continued to increase. China's expenditures on research and experimental development activities (R&D) reached RMB 3.1 trillion in 2022, exceeding RMB 3 trillion for the first time, up by 10.4% over that of 2021, maintaining double-digit growth for seven consecutive years. The ratio of R&D expenditure to GDP was 2.55%, an increase of 0.12 percentage points. At the end of 2022, the number of valid invention patents in China reached 4.212 million, ranking first in the world. The principal role of enterprises in innovation was strengthened, and the application of innovation achievements was accelerated. In 2022, the industrialization rate of Chinese enterprises' invention patents was 48.1%, an increase of 1.3 percentage points over the previous year. China’s strategic science and technology capabilities were reinforced at a faster pace. Solid progress was made in the development of the national laboratory system, the development of international science and technology innovation centers, comprehensive national science centers, national manufacturing innovation centers, and regional science and technology innovation centers was accelerated, and major scientific and technological achievements were made one after another, giving a strong impetus to industrial modernization. In 2022, the Chang'e Moon exploration, Tianwen Martian exploration and Shenzhou series spaceship launches were successively carried out, China’s Space Station was fully completed, the first C919 aircraft was officially delivered, and the third aircraft carrier Fujian was launched. New drivers continued to strengthen. With a new round of scientific and technological revolution and industrial transformation accelerating, emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, and blockchain were widely used, and new industries developed rapidly. In 2022, the value added of the high technology manufacturing industries above designated size increased by 7.4% over the previous year, and the investment in high technology industries increased by 18.9%; The output of new energy vehicles, solar cells, industrial robots and other products increased by 90.5%, 46.8% and 21.0% respectively. The construction of mobile Internet of Things was accelerated. At the end of 2022, users of cellular Internet of Things terminals in China totaled 1.845 billion, an increase of 447 million over the end of the previous year, accounting for 70% of the global total.

IV. Steady Progress in Green and Low-Carbon Transformation

Ecological progress is fundamental to the sustainable development of the Chinese nation. In 2022, while actively stabilizing economic operation, the whole country firmly implemented the development concept that lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets, vigorously promoted the construction of a beautiful China, coordinated efforts to cut carbon emissions, reduce pollution, expand green development, and pursue economic growth, continued to deepen the battle against pollution prevention and control, worked actively and prudently toward the goals of reaching peak carbon emissions and carbon neutrality, accelerated the transition to green development, continuously optimized the ecological environment, and promoted faster development of green and low-carbon ways of working and living. Steady progress was made in energy conservation, consumption reduction and emission reduction. The national energy consumption per RMB 10,000 worth of GDP in 2022 dropped by 0.1% over the previous year, and the carbon dioxide emission per RMB 10,000 worth of GDP was cut by 0.8%. The low-carbon transformation of energy continued to deepen, clean energy production realized faster growth, and the proportion of non-fossil energy consumption kept rising. In 2022, the electricity generated by clean energy such as hydropower, nuclear power, wind power and solar power increased by 8.5% over the previous year; The proportion of non-fossil energy consumption in total energy consumption was 17.5%, an increase of 0.8 percentage points. Effective results were continuously achieved in pollution control. In-depth efforts were made to keep the skies blue, the waters clear, and the land pollution-free, continuously improving the quality of the ecological environment. Urban air quality was generally improved. In 2022, the annual average concentration of particulate matter (PM 2.5) in 339 cities at the prefecture level and above decreased by 3.3% over the previous year. The surface water environment continued to improve. Of the 3,641 sections under the national monitoring program for surface water, 87.9% were of fairly clean water quality (Grade I to III), an increase of 3.0 percentage points. Ecological security barriers continued to be strengthened. We made continuous efforts in systematic management of mountains, rivers, forests, farmland, lakes, grasslands, and deserts, strengthened the protection and restoration of ecosystems, pushed forward large-scale land afforestation, and achieved overall improvement of the natural ecosystem. In 2022, the total area of afforestation reached 3.83 million hectares, of which 1.20 million hectares were afforested by manpower. The land area improved by grass plantation was 3.21 million hectares, and a total of 63,000 square kilometers of land was saved from soil erosion.

V. Ongoing Expansion of High-Standard Opening-up

In 2022, with the slowdown in world economic recovery, increased volatility in global financial market, and rising unilateralism and protectionism, the uncertainty of foreign trade and economic development increased significantly. China adhered to giving full consideration to both domestic and international imperatives, worked hard to build a new development pattern, firmly upheld and practiced multilateralism, accelerated the building of new systems for a higher-standard open economy, actively promoted institutional opening-up, continued to improve the liberalization and facilitation of trade and investment, strived to promote a stable and high-quality foreign trade structure, made greater efforts to attract and utilize foreign investment, made solid progress in jointly building the Belt and Road for high-quality development, expanded the space for foreign trade and economic cooperation, and sustained growth in foreign trade and foreign investment, demonstrating its economic resilience and strong international competitiveness as a major power. Trade in goods reached a new high. In 2022, the total value of imports and exports of goods exceeded RMB 40 trillion for the first time, reaching RMB 42.1 trillion, an increase of 7.7% over the previous year, and achieving a new breakthrough on a high base. Trade in services grew steadily. In 2022, the total value of imports and exports of services increased by 12.9% over that of the previous year. Among them, the import and export of knowledge-intensive services increased by 7.8%. The potential release of cross-border e-commerce was accelerated. In 2022, China's cross-border e-commerce imports and exports reached RMB 2.1 trillion, an increase of 9.8% over the previous year. The utilization of foreign capital rose against the trend. Accelerated efforts were made to create a market-oriented and law-based business environment in keeping with international standards, and China remained a favored place for global investment. In 2022, China's actual use of foreign capital increased by 6.3% on a comparable basis over the previous year, and the scale of inward investment reached a new high. The use of foreign capital in high-tech industries grew rapidly. In 2022, the actual use of foreign capital in high-tech industries increases by 28.3% over the previous year, accounting for 36.1% of the total used foreign capital, an increase of 7.1 percentage points over the previous year. High-quality Belt and Road cooperation yielded remarkable results. Economic and trade exchanges between China and countries along the "Belt and Road" became increasingly close. In 2022, China's imports and exports to countries along the Belt and Road reached a record high of RMB 13.8 trillion, an increase of 19.4% over the previous year; Non-financial direct investment by Chinese enterprises in countries along the Belt and Road increased by 7.7%. In 2022, the total number of China-Europe freight train trips was 16,000, an increase of 9% over the previous year. A total of 756,000 TEUs of goods were delivered by the freight trains of New Land-Sea Corridor in Western China, an increase of 18.5%. New progress was made in the construction of free trade zones. High-quality implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) further promoted regional integration and cooperation. In 2022, China's import and export volume and non-financial direct investment to RCEP trading partners increases by 7.5% and 18.9% respectively over the previous year, and the direct investment from RCEP trading partners increased by 23.1%. Continuous improvement was made in trade liberalization and facilitation, and the leading role of pilot free trade zones as opening-up pacesetters was highlighted. In 2022, the import and export volume of China's 21 pilot free trade zones increased by 14.5% over the previous year; The import and export volume of goods in Hainan Free Trade Port exceeded RMB 200 billion, an increase of 36.8%.

VI. Continuous Advancement in Improving People's Wellbeing

To improve the well-being of the people and meet their aspirations for a better life is the fundamental purpose of development. In 2022, the pandemic had a major impact on people's employment, income and livelihood, and the most pressing difficulties of high concern to the people in education, medical care and other fields grew, significantly increasing the pressure on ensuring basic people's basic living needs. All regions and government departments fully implemented the people-centered development philosophy, focused on the concerns of the people, made every efforts to increase residents' income, continuously improved the quality of education, strengthened the guarantee of medical and health services, enhanced the social assistance for basic needs, improved the level of public services, made new progress in improving people's wellbeing, continuously improved people's lives, and enhanced the people's sense of gain, happiness and security. Residents' income grew basically in step with economic growth. In 2022, the per capita disposable income nationwide saw a real increase of 2.9% over the previous year, basically in step with economic growth. Achievements in poverty alleviation were consolidated and further expanded. In 2022, the per capita disposable income of rural households from counties lifted out of poverty saw a real increase of 5.4%, faster than the growth rate of rural households' income nationwide. Great and effective efforts were made to meet basic living needs. The coverage of social insurance continued to be widened. At the end of 2022, the number of people covered by basic endowment, unemployment and work-related injury insurances nationwide increased by 24.3 million, 8.49 million and 8.25 million respectively over the end of the previous year. Solid progress was achieved in extending the coverage and improving the efficiency of subsistence allowances, as well as increasing social assistance. By the end of 2022, minimum living allowances were granted to 6.83 million urban residents and 33.49 million rural residents, and 10.83 million people received temporary assistance. The per capita income from social assistance and subsidies increased by 3.8% over the previous year. All-round progress was made in social undertakings. The level of education popularization was steadily increased. In 2022, the number of students receiving the 9-year compulsory education accounted for 95.5% of the total enrollment, and the gross enrollment ratio for senior secondary education reached 91.6%. Medical and health services continued to be strengthened. At the end of 2022, there were 1.033 million medical and health institutions and 11.55 million medical technical personnel in China. Solid progress was made in improving public cultural services. At the end of 2022, there were 3,503 cultural centers and 3,303 public libraries in China, and the television broadcasting coverage rate was 99.8%.

Having gone through hardships and toil, we will be more resolute and forge ahead in the new era for more achievements. In 2022, China has withstood the pressure in economic and social development, gone through an extraordinary journey, and continued to improve its economic strength, comprehensive national strength and people's living standards, writing a new chapter of Chinese path to modernization.


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