¥710b Lent to Property Market in Q1
Chinese banks lent ¥710.3 billion to the property development in Q1 2013, ¥466.7 billion more than a year earlier, according to a report released by the central bank. Property loans represented 27% of total lending in Q1 2013. Outstanding loans taken out by the real estate sector, including those issued by foreign banks, amounted to ¥12.98 trillion as of the end of March 2013, up 16.4% from a year earlier, the People's Bank of China said. Total outstanding loans rose 14.9% from a year earlier to ¥65.76 trillion as of the end of March 2013 after ¥2.76 trillion, ¥294.8 billion more from a year earlier, were lent during Q1 2013. Outstanding loans for small and midsized businesses rose to ¥11.78 trillion as of the end of March 2013, up 13.5% from a year earlier.

Consumer Goods Sales Slow

Sales of fast moving consumer goods grew 8.4% in China in the quarter through March 22, 2013, much slower than the 14.7% seen in the same period of a year earlier, according to Kantar Worldpanel, a consumer research body. This matches the overall sluggish economy after consumer spending slowed significantly, particularly in the top four regional centers (Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Chengdu), whose growth of combined sales of FMCGs was just 5.6% during the period.

Small-City Residents Boost Offshore Trips
More people from smaller Chinese cities are traveling abroad, the China Daily reported, citing findings of a research. Outbound tourism is no longer a privilege of the rich as rapid economic development has enabled residents of second and third-tier cities to travel overseas, according to the China Outbound Tourism Development 2013 report released by the China Tourism Academy. The amount of outbound visits totaled almost 83.2 million in 2012, up 18.4% from the year before. Total overseas spending by Chinese tourists in 2012 reached $102 billion. The amount of outbound visits from China is expected to grow 15% to 94.3 million this year, and related spending is to hit a record $117.6 billion, the report added.

7% Growth Forecast for GDP Through 2020
China's economic growth will unlikely come back to double digits in the next 10 years despite exports climbing 18.4% in the first three months of the year, said the Development Research Center of the State Council, a think-tank to the Chinese government. GDP growth is projected to average 7% annually and double the 2010 level by 2020, the center said.

Urban Unemployment Unchanged at 4.1%
Urban registered unemployment rate stood at 4.1% as of the end of March 2013, the Ministry of Human Resource and Social Security said. The rate, updated every three months, hasn't changed since the end of September 2010. In Q1 2013, 3.42 million jobs were created in urban China, the ministry added.

$1 = ¥6.17

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