Liu Aihua, spokesperson of the National Bureau of Statistics
Xi Yanchun, vice director-general of the Press Bureau, State Council Information Office
Sept. 14, 2017
Xi Yanchun, vice director-general of the Press Bureau, State Council Information Office. [Photo by Liu Jian/China SCIO]
Ladies and gentlemen, good morning. Welcome to this press conference. Today, we are delighted to invite Ms. Liu Aihua, spokesperson of the National Bureau of Statistics, to introduce and analyze China's economic performance in August. She will also answer some of your questions.Now, let's welcome Ms. Liu to deliver her briefing.
Liu Aihua, spokesperson of the National Bureau of Statistics. [Photo by Liu Jian/China SCIO]
Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen, good morning. As usual, before answering your questions, I will make a brief introduction.
In August, China's economic performance was stable with good momentum for growth.
The overall situation was sound. Structural adjustment continued to go deeper. New emergent driving forces continued to gain strength. Economic performance improved steadily in both quality and returns.
First, industrial production was stable, corporate profits continued to improve.
In August, the total added value of industrial enterprises above designated size increased by 6.0 percent year-on-year, down 0.4 percentage points from the previous month; and grew 0.46 percent faster than July, representing a gain of 0.05 percentage points.
An analysis by types of ownership shows State holding enterprises saw a gain of 7.8 percent; collective enterprises were down 2.1 percent; share-holding enterprises achieved a 5.8 percent increase; and those funded by foreign investors or investors from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan rose 7.9 percent.
The added value of the mining industry fell 3.4 percent year-on-year; manufacturing rose 6.9 percent, a gain of 0.2 percentage points from the previous month; and that of the production and supply of electricity, heat, gas and water rose 8.7 percent. The production and sales rate of industrial enterprises above designated size reached 98.5 percent. From January to August, the total added value of industrial enterprises above designated size increased by 6.7 percent year-on-year. In August, The Purchasing Manager's Index (PMI) stood at 51.7 percent, a gain of 0.3 percentage points from the previous month. This represented 13 consecutive months of improvement.
From January to July, industrial enterprises above designated size achieved a total profit of 4.2481 trillion yuan, an increase of 21.2 percent year-on-year. The main business income profit margin reached 6.09 percent, up 0.41 percentage points year-on-year.
Second, the service sector grew at a relatively fast pace, with the business activity index extremely active.
In August, the service sector production index increased by 8.3 percent year-on-year, the growth rate being unchanged from the previous month; however, it was 0.9 percentage point higher than the same period last year. Information transmission, software and information technology services, rental and business services maintained double-digit growth.
From January to August, the service sector production index increased by 8.3 percent year-on-year, 0.2 percentage point higher than the same period last year. From January to July, the operating income of service enterprises above designated size grew by 13.4 percent year-on-year, up by 0.2 percentage points from the first half of the year. The operating profit of service enterprises above designated size grew by 22.6 percent year-on-year, up by 6.6 percentage points from the first half of the year.
In August, the business activity index for services stood at 52.6 percent, showing a continued good performance. Specifically, the business activity index for sectors such as air transport, postal services, telecommunications, radio and television and satellite transmission, and the Internet and software information technology services stayed within the relatively good range of over 60.0 percent. From the market demand perspective, the new orders index of the service sector was 50.3 percent, 0.1 percentage points higher than the previous month, and maintaining an advance for the fourth consecutive month.
Third, the growth of fixed-asset investment slowed down with the investment structure becoming optimized.
In the period January-August, total fixed-asset investment (excluding rural households) was 39.42 trillion yuan, up 7.8 percent year-on-year. However, the growth rate was 0.5 percentage point lower than at the end of July. This included investment of State-owned capital of 14.38 trillion yuan and private investment of 23.91 trillion yuan, with year-on-year increases of 11.2 percent and 6.4 percent respectively. Private investment accounted for 60.7 percent of the total. Primary industry investment was 1.27 trillion yuan, up 12.2 percent from the same period last year; secondary industry investment was 14.82 trillion yuan, up 3.2 percent. This included investment in manufacturing of 12.17 trillion yuan, an increase of 4.5 percent. Investment in the tertiary industry was 23.32 trillion yuan, up 10.6 percent. Infrastructure investment totaled 8.47 trillion yuan, up 19.8 percent; hi-tech manufacturing investment increased by 19.5 percent, 11.7 percentage points higher than the growth rate of total investment. Investment in manufacturing industries with extensive energy consumption declined by 1.6 percent. A total of 39.62 trillion yuan of fixed-asset investment was available, up 2.8 percent and 1.3 percentage points from the end of July. The planned total investment in new projects was 33.01 trillion yuan, up 2.2 percent and 0.3 percentage point higher than at the end of July. Total fixed-asset investment (excluding rural households) increased by 0.57 percent month-on-month.
Fourth, investment in real estate grew in a stable way, and commodity housing for sale continued to decline.
In the period, January-August, the total investment in real estate was 6.95 trillion yuan, up 7.9 percent year-on-year. Investment in residential housing increased by 10.1 percent. Construction began on housing totaling 1.15 billion square meters, up 7.6 percent, with the area of residential housing up 11.6 percent. A total of 985.39-million square meters of commodity housing was sold, up 12.7 percent, with the area of residential housing up 10.3 percent. The sales of commodity housing reached 7.8 trillion yuan, up 17.2 percent, with the sale of residential housing up 14.2 percent. Property developers bought land totaling 142.29 million square meters, up 10.1 percent. By the end of August, the commodity housing for sale remained at 623.52 million square meters, 11.44 million square meters less than a month earlier. In the period from January to August, the capital available for property developers was 9.98 trillion yuan, up 9 percent.
Fifth, market sales continued to expand and online retailing showed good momentum.
In August, total retail sales of consumer goods reached 3.03 trillion yuan, up 10.1 percent year-on-year, 0.3 percentage point lower than the July figure, up 0.76 percent month-on-month, 0.05 percentage point higher than July. Sales of consumer goods in cities reached 2.62 trillion yuan, up 9.9 percent, while sales in rural areas reached 416.1 billion yuan, up 11.5 percent. The catering sector reported revenue of 336 billion yuan, up 10.7 percent; retailing 2.7 trillion yuan, up 10.1 percent, with retail sales of enterprises above designated size reaching 1.24 trillion yuan, up 7.5 percent. Sales of commodities regarding consumption upgrading saw fast growth, with the growth of sales of sports and entertaining commodities up 14.9 percent and that of communications equipment up 12.2 percent. In the period from January to August, total retail sales of consumer goods achieved stable growth of 10.4 percent.
In the period from January to August, online retail sales reached 4.25 trillion yuan, up 34.3 percent year-on-year, 0.6 percentage point higher than at the end of July. Online retail sales of tangible goods reached 3.21 trillion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 29.2 percent, accounting for 13.8 percent of total retail sales of consumer goods, which was 2.2 percentage points higher than the same period of last year; online retail sales of Intangible goods reached 1.04 trillion yuan, up 52.9 percent.
Six, mild rise in CPI; greater rise in PPI.
In August, the consumer price index (CPI) rose 1.8 percent year on year, 0.4 percentage point higher than in July. The breakdown is as follows: 0.4 percent for food, tobacco and alcohol, 1.3 percent for garments, 2.7 percent for housing, 1.3 percent for daily-use goods and services, 0.7 percent for transportation and communications, 2.5 percent for education, culture and entertainment, 5.9 percent for healthcare and 1.4 percent for other goods and services. Within the "food, tobacco and alcohol" category, the prices of grain and fresh vegetables rose by 1.6 percent and 9.7 percent respectively, and the price of pork dropped by 13.4 percent. The month-on-month rise for CPI was 0.4 percent. For January-August, CPI rose 1.5 percent year on year.
In August, the producer price index (PPI) rose 6.3 percent year on year, 0.8 percentage point higher than the growth in July, and rose 0.9 percent month on month. The rise for January to August was 6.4 percent year on year. In August, the producer purchasing price index jumped 7.7 percent year on year and 0.8 percent month on month. For January-August, the jump was 8.4 percent year on year.
Seven, rapid growth in imports and exports; higher proportion of general trade in imports and exports; higher proportion of mechanical and electrical products in exports.
In August, foreign trade increased 10.1 percent year on year to 2.41 trillion yuan, of which 1.35 trillion yuan was exports, up 6.9 percent, and 1.06 trillion yuan was imports, up 14.4 percent, resulting in a trade surplus of 286.5 billion yuan. For January to August, foreign trade increased 17.1 percent year on year to 17.83 trillion yuan, of which exports were 9.85 trillion yuan, up 13 percent, and imports were 7.98 trillion yuan, up 22.5 percent. In January to August, general trade expanded by 17.9 percent year on year, increasing its share in China's total foreign trade by 0.4 percentage point from last year to 56.7 percent. Exports of mechanical and electrical products expanded 13.4 percent, increasing its share in China's total exports by 0.3 percentage point from last year to 57.1 percent.
In August, industrial enterprises above the designated size (those with an annual revenue from their main business operations of 20 million yuan or more) delivered exports worth 1.09 trillion yuan, up 8.2 percent year on year. For January to August, the figure was 8.27 trillion yuan, up 10.3 percent over last year.
Eight, progress in the supply-side structural reform; extraordinary results in transformation and upgrading.
New progress has been made in cutting overcapacity, reducing excess inventory, deleveraging, lowering costs, and strengthening areas of weakness. By the end of July, overcapacity cutting in iron and steel industry had progressed smoothly with sales and production of substandard steel products banned; overcapacity cutting in coal resulted in a combined capacity of 128 million tons, or 85 percent of the annual target, eliminated. The area of commodity housing for sale at the end of August declined 12 percent year on year, 1 percentage point higher than a month earlier.
The debt-to-asset ratio and production cost of industrial enterprises continued to fall. At the end of July, the ratio was 55.8 percent for industrial enterprises above the designated size, down by 0.7 percentage point compared with the same period last year. The cost for each 100 yuan earned from main business operations was 85.72 yuan for January to July, 0.04 yuan less than the corresponding period last year. Investment in areas of weakness grew rapidly. In January to August, investment in environmental protection, public facility management, road transportation, water conservancy management and agriculture grew 28.2, 24.3, 24.1, 17.6 and 16.1 percent respectively.
New achievement was scored in adjusting the industrial structure and expanding new growth drivers. Technology-intensive and low-resource-consuming new industries and products that are in keeping with the trend of transformation and upgrading grew rapidly. In August, the high-tech industry and equipment manufacturing industry expanded 12.9 percent and 11.6 percent year on year in terms of value added. The expansions were 0.8 and 0.9 percentage point higher respectively than in July and 6.9 and 5.6 percentage points higher than those by industrial enterprises above the designated size.
In January to August, output of industrial robots, new-energy cars and SUVs increased by 63, 25.4 and 17.2 percent year on year respectively. Emerging services and producer services also recorded rapid growth. In January-July, enterprises above the designated size offering emerging services of strategic importance and producer services earned 16.8 and 14.5 percent more in business revenue compared with the same period last year.
On the whole, the national economy continued to make progress and move in a positive direction while remaining stable in August. Growth was steady with structure and quality improved. But we should also be aware that there are still concerns and challenges, because the international environment continues to suffer from numerous instabilities and uncertainties, and the Chinese economy is still clearing away barriers for restructuring. Going forward, we will rally even closer around the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core, make progress while maintaining stable performance, and use new development concepts to steer the new normal in economic development.
We will continue to focus on the supply-side structural reform, moderately expand aggregate demand, make innovation a greater growth driver, better guide expectations, seek impetus and vitality through reform and pursue development and transformation through innovation. We will strive to upgrade the economy, making it more efficient, and boost the real economy, keeping risks at bay, so as to consolidate and stabilize the foundation for development.
That's all for my introduction. Now I'm ready to take your questions. Thank you.
Thank you Ms. Liu for your introduction. Now, the floor is open for questions. Please identify yourself before asking your question.
China Central Television (CCTV):
You just mentioned that some of the economic indicators were still declining in August, which has drawn public concern. How do you see the overall economic performance of that month? Thank you.
Thanks for your question. According to what I introduced just now, the Chinese economy has both maintained stability while taking a turn for the better, which can be seen in the following five aspects:
First, growth is stabilizing. According to the main growth indicators, the added value of industries above designated size from January to August increased by 6.7 percent, up 0.7 percentage points year-on-year. In August alone, the rise was 6.0 percent year-on-year, indicating maintenance of steady growth. From January to August, the service sector producer price index reached 8.3 percent, up 0.2 percentage points year-on-year; in August alone, the figure was also 8.3 percent, up 0.9 percentage points year-on-year. So, the growth was quite steady in regard to the production side. In terms of demand, total retail sales of consumer goods grew by 10.4 percent in the first eight months of this year, up 0.1 percentage point over last year. Investment growth also remained stable, with a year-on-year increase of 7.8 percent in fixed asset investment during the period. Investment in areas of perceived weakness also maintained rapid growth. Moreover, imports and exports maintained double-digit growth. Therefore, demand-side growth was also quite stable.
Second, employment has seen an upward turn. In August, the surveyed unemployment rate in urban areas remained stable, with the figure remaining below 5 percent in 31 major cities, a slight decline over the previous month. The weekly working time in industrialized enterprises increased by 0.07 hours compared to July. A total of 9.74 million jobs were created in urban areas from January to August, up 260,000 year-on-year. August saw a slight rise over July.
Third, increases in commodity prices have remained mild. In August, the consumer price index (CPI) rose by 1.8 percent year-on-year, and 0.4 percent month-on-month. This can be considered a moderate level compared to the same period in previous years and when set against other major world economies.
Fourth, the structure is continued to be optimized. In terms of industrial structure, high-tech industries have maintained relatively rapid growth, with their added value rising by 12.9 percent year-on-year in August, up 0.8 percentage points over the previous month; the added value of equipment manufacturing industries rose by 11.6 percent, up 0.9 percentage points. At the same time, manufacturing industries with high-energy consumption saw a slowdown, with growth of 2.9 percent in August, down 0.4 percentage points. In regard to the demand side, products that meet higher consumer demand grew fast. In August, sports and entertainment products as well as communications equipment registered double-digit growth, up 14.9 percent and 12.2 percent year-on-year respectively. The investment structure is also improving. On one hand, investment in high-tech manufacturing grew by 19.5 percent year-on-year; on the other hand, traditional sectors are also speeding up their transformation showed by the fact that investment in technological improvement for manufacturing grew by 11.4 percent from January to August. In addition, investment in infrastructure and in areas of perceived weakness also picked up. Since the beginning of this year, infrastructure investment has risen by 19.8 percent year-on-year; investment in environmental protection, public facilities, road transportation and other areas of perceived weakness enjoyed a growth of over 20 percent. Therefore, investment in industrial upgrading is quite obvious.
Fifth, quality has improved. From January to July, profits in industrialized enterprises above designated size increased by 21.2 percent, up 14.3 percentage points year-on-year. Operating profits of the service sector in the same period grew by 22.6 percent. Fiscal revenue continued a desirable growth rate. From January to August, general public budgets grew by 9.8 percent overall.
From the above five indicators, we can see that, from January to August, China's economic growth was within a proper range with deepened structural adjustment, improved quality and positive and steady growth momentum.
We have noticed that the PPI rose to 6.3 percent in Augustafter three consecutive months of flat growth.What do you think of the rebound of PPI in the case of the overall decline of growth rates of several major indexes, involving the just-mentioned investment, consumption, imports and exports? Thank you.
Thank you for your question. PPIhad a year-on-year growth rate of 6.3 percent in August, and the growth rate hasslightly expanded compared with last month. And itsmonth-on-month growth rate is also slightly expanding.Why? I think there are two main reasons.
First, the domestic supply-side structural reform has continued to advance. In terms of PPI's internal structure, PPI's rise is actually a structural boost. In August, the rise of PPI mainly came from the means of production, while the growth rate fromconsumer goods were relatively stable.
Second, changes in the prices of major international commodities had an impact on the rebound of PPI.Data from relevant international organizations show that in August there were a rise inprices ofmany upstream products. This was mainly caused by the recent sustained recovery of world economy and the steadily expanding of international markets which has a great demand for China's raw materials.
Here are some examples. The international energy price rose by 4.4 percent in August, the metaland mineralprice by 8.2 percent, and the raw material priceby 2.3 percent. The prices of major international commodities also rose invarying degrees. This impact of external factors cannot be ignored, either.In general, both domestic and international factors have contributed to the rebound of PPI in August.
Over the next period, the rise of PPI will have pushing-up factors and pulling-down factors. The pushing-up factors will include the just-mentioned sustained advancing of domestic supply-side structural reform and the continuedrising of major international commodities.
But there will be certain pulling-down factors, too.PPI's year-on-year growth turned from negative to positive for the first time in September last year. This base will appear as a comparatively large increase, which will also have a certain impact on PPI's year-on-year growth in September this year.
So from a whole point of view, the trend of PPI is yet to be seen. Thank you.
Since the second half of the year began, the statistics of production, consumption and investment have been falling. Now, there's a saying that the bonus brought about by the supply-side structural reform is shrinking. Can you please comment on this opinion. In addition, as our reform keeps on moving ahead, what will the next phase of the economic trend be like? Thank you.
Thank you for your questions. Looking at the general picture, we can see certain numbers have indeed shown a slowdown in this month's statistics. However, if we observe the economy as a whole, there is a need to consider it from multiple angles and in multiple dimensions. The short-term ups-and-lows are often affected by some non-economic factors, such as climate and cardinal numbers, which do not necessarily reflect the overall trend. For example, in the recent two months, July and August, you know the high-temperature and often rainy weather can affect many indices. Because of this oppressive kind of weather, many industrial enterprises suspend their production and take advantage of the lull to undertake maintenance. So, the regular production and operation may be influenced, which will also affect the year-on-year growth of industrial production. Furthermore, we have mentioned that consumer prices have seen a larger increase on a month-on-month basis, and this is also due to the weather factor. For example, due to the weather, the cost of storing fresh vegetables will be higher. So, when we evaluate the economic situation, we should not only look at the year-on-year growth, but also the month-on-month and accumulated growth figures. When we look at it from various perspectives, in general the basic situation of economy in August did not change. Production and demand are stable, and the economic structure continues to be adjusted, and the quality and benefit are also on the rise. The stable and positively improving trend is not changed.
When there are no fundamental changes, the trend for the second half of the year will continue in a good direction. And there are three major factors to support that.
First, the base is stable. As supply-side structural reform continues, the enterprises' operations and benefits keep on improving, as the residents' income is improving in a stable way, and fiscal incomes are growing faster. The three major income sources are performing at their best rate in recent years, and this is very rare. The micro-foundations are positive, which has laid a stable base for the macroeconomic positive trend. For example, in regard to the consumers, in the past half year, incomes have actually grown 7.3 percent, or 0.8 percent faster on a year-on-year basis. This is a high speed when we look at recent years. When residents' incomes grow faster, this will promote upgraded consumption. In addition, as the supply-side has seen stable improvement of quality and level, so the consumption will have chance to stay in fast lane and continue to grow. From the perspective of investment, as enterprise profitability keeps on rising and the market demands keep on improving, this will strengthen the investment capabilities of enterprises and enlarge the investment space. And from the perspective of foreign demand, currently the world economy continues its revival and our export products have enhanced their competitiveness, so we have a relatively solid base for foreign needs to grow stably and positively. So, looking at the three demands, the base for the demand to stably enlarge is becoming better and more stable.
Second, there are clear signs of increased vigor. Thanks to the boost by public entrepreneurship and innovation, there are many more new entities appearing. In August, the number of newly-registered enterprises reached 17,000 a day, faster than the figures last year. Besides, new industries and new models are also fast developing. From January to August, in the online retail volume, the physical commodities' value of retail sales increased by 29.2 percent year-on-year, and non-physical commodities' value of retail sales grew even faster, increasing by 52.9 percent year-on-year. This dynamic new growth also created new impetus and vitality into overall economic growth, and will make the economic growth more stable and better.
Third, the prospects are very positive. As noted already, in August, the manufacturing industry's Purchasing Managers'Index was 51.7 percent, which has stayed above the critical point for 13 straight months. The non-manufacturing PMI activity was 53.4 percent, while the consumer confidence index also remains at a high level. Recently, the international community also have stronger confidence in China's economic development. So many international organizations have raised their projections of China's economic growth.
So, from these three aspects - first, more solid foundation; second, strengthened vigor; third, positive prospects - we can see that the short-term fundamental base for economic growth has not changed, and the stable and positive trend will continue.
Industrial production has slowed down for two straight months. Besides the weather factor, is there any other reason in your view? Some local governments are currently strengthening their regulations on environmental protection, so how does that impact industrial production?
First, industrial production may indeed have slowed down, but it still maintained steady growth. From January to August, the added value of industrial enterprises with annual revenue of at least 20 million yuan from their main business operations increased by 6.7 percent year-on-year, up 0.7 percentage point. Industrial production grew by 0.46 percent in August, up 0.05 percentage point from July.
Second, due to the hot and rainy days, industrial production in July and August did see a slowdown. However, this slowdown is also related to structural adjustment. The added value of industries with extensive energy consumption grew by 2.9 percent, 0.4 percentage point less than the previous month. Meanwhile, other industries that have speeded up their transformation and upgrading managed to raise their production. The added value of manufacturing industries rose by 6.9 percent, high-tech industries rose by 12.9 percent, and equipment manufacturing industries grew by 11.6 percent, respectively 0.2, 0.8 and 0.9 percentage point higher than the previous month.
The productive activities of industries with extensive energy consumption has slowed down, but, on the whole, we were able to speed up transformation and upgrading. Therefore, it shows we are following the new vision of development, which will not only boost short-term economic development but also give sustainable and fresh impetus to medium and long-term development. Thank you.
Recently, the exchange rate of RMB has been appreciating significantly. What is the impact on China's exports and macro economy? Thank you.
Thank you for your question. I think the RMB appreciation reflects the fact that China's economic development was progressing steadily with some improvement, and it has boosted the confidence in China's economic fundamentals from home and abroad.
Based on this fact, I think China's economy can maintain the current trend and seek further development. There will be more and more factors to support the further development of the economy, which will grow at a medium and even high speed with higher quality. The exchange rate of RMB will also maintain a reasonable growth rate. Thank you.
I have two questions. First, the investment in real estate development in the first eight months has witnessed a relatively stable increase, both the housing areas being newly developed and sold continued to grow year on year. Do you think the investment increase will last in the second half of this year? In addition, the "golden September and silver October" are usually the best months for the real estate industry, but some argue that September and October this year will witness a sluggish performance compared to previous years. What do you think of this? The second question is: we have also seen that PPI and CPI have been rising year-on-year. Does it mean that inflationary pressures still exist? How do you think the CPI will change in the H2? Thank you.
Thanks for your questions. Let me address your first question about the real estate market first. The regulation on the real estate market since last year has manifested its effects in two aspects.
First, the housing prices in popular cities have kept rising too quickly. As seen from the housing prices of 70 large and medium cities in July, the year-on-year increases of new commercial housing prices in 15 first-tier cities and popular second-tier cities have all slowed down markedly, ranging from 0.8 percentage points to 4.9 percentage points; with month-on-month increases have narrowed down as well. Second, de-stocking has speeded up. By the end of August, the areas of commodity housing for sale had fallen by 12 percent year on year, and one percentage point higher than that of the end of last month.
As you said, real estate sales are still growing at a relatively fast rate. From January to August, the national commercial housing sales grew by 12.7 percent. During the same period, the investment in real estate development increased by 7.9 percent year on year at a relatively steady speed. In addition, from the supply side, the recent policies of some government departments including pilot rental housing will expand the supply of commercial housing and channel some of the demand. Therefore, the real estate market is expected to maintain a steady and healthy development overall under the exploration and efforts of all the regions and various government departments.
The second question is about the CPI. In August, the CPI rose 1.8 percent year on year and 0.4 percent from the previous month. In fact, the expansion of the CPI increase in August is mainly attributed to seasonal factors. The month-on-month increase of CPI was mainly due to rising food prices, which contributed a share of about 0.24 percentage points to the month-on-month increase of the CPI according to our measurements and calculations.
Non-food prices rose 0.2 percent month on month, an increase basically equivalent to that of last month. The rise in food prices was mainly due to the rise in the prices of eggs, fresh vegetables, pork and chicken. High temperatures were the main reason for the decline in egg production, which explained a month-on-month increase of egg prices by 16.2 percent. High temperatures and rainfall as well as strong convection weather increased the costs for storing and transporting fresh vegetables, and which led to a month-on-month increase of egg prices by 8.5 percent.
The price of chicken and pork rose by 3.0 percent and 1.3 percent respectively. The CPI rose by about 0.32 percentage point under the influence of the above four items. You are concerned about the trend of the CPI and whether its change will lead to inflation, I think the answer is no, because the CPI increased by only 1.5 percent from January to August, and the food supply is relatively adequate at present. This year, the summer crops and the early season rice yield are greater than last year, and the autumn crops are growing well so far.
Therefore, the overall supply of agricultural products is relatively adequate, and thus, food prices will not increase much. Moreover, the prices of industrial consumer goods showed a relatively low increase of 0.6 percent from January to August. Comparably, the prices of services increased by more by 2.9 percent, but under the continuous supply-side structural reform, the quality and level of services kept improving, so the prices were not supposed to show a large increase. Thus, overall, there will be no problem in fulfilling the objective of controlling price inflation for the whole year. Thank you.
The press conference ends up here. Thanks again for Ms. Liu Aihua, and thank you all.