China Economic Update

China’s leading property developers saw robust sales growth in April, an industry report shows.

Sales of 100 surveyed major property developers rose 32 percent year on year to nearly 1.04 trillion yuan (about 160.8 billion U.S. dollars), according to data from property research institution CRIC.

The figure represented a month-on-month decline of 4.2 percent, CRIC data shows.

The government has maintained its tighter regulation of the property sector, including home purchase curbs and stricter mortgage policies, to ensure that “housing is for living in, not for speculation.”

The report predicted that the slowdown in the growth of large-scale housing enterprises will become the norm in the future as investment and scale expansion momentum decreases.

China’s e-commerce logistics sector reported moderate growth in April, according to an industry survey jointly conducted by the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing and e-commerce giant JD.com.

The index tracking e-commerce logistics activities rose to 111 points last month, up from 109.4 points in March, the survey showed.

The total demand for e-commerce logistics fell in the period, with the sub-index tracking the total business volume coming in at 127.8 points, down 0.3 points from the previous month.

Demand for e-commerce in rural areas maintained its growth momentum, with the sub-index tracking e-commerce logistics in these regions standing at 129.1 points, up 3.6 points from March.

The survey predicted that residents’ consumption will continue to increase, and that the e-commerce index will maintain its stable and positive trend in May, influenced by the Labor Day holiday.

China’s outstanding loans to individual businesses stood at 5.4 trillion yuan (about 834.9 billion U.S. dollars) at the end of March, according to China’s top banking and insurance regulator.

This marked a 29 percent increase compared with the same period last year, said the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC).

Authorities’ move to encourage loans to individual businesses has provided solid financial support for the recovery and development of individual businesses, it said.

The average rate of interest charged on loans to individual companies was 6.2 percent by the end of March, down 1.3 percentage points from 2019, data from the CBIRC shows.

Authorities will extend the policy of deferring principal and interest payments on loans to small and micro businesses to cover truck drivers, taxi drivers, online shop owners and other self-employed individuals.

Xi’an, capital of northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, has seen a robust growth of cargo volume delivered via the China-Europe freight train service, with more than 50,000 carriages of cargo transported so far this year.

The X8155 train carrying 50 carriages of electric kettles, modems, children’s bicycles and other goods departed from the station of Xi’an International Port on Thursday, bringing the number of train carriages of such service to over 50,000.

As of Thursday, 50,060 carriages of cargo have been delivered from or to Xi’an via the China-Europe freight train service this year, up 19.8 percent year on year, according to the China Railway Xi’an Group Co., Ltd.

Food, electronics, construction materials and medical equipment are among the main categories that are transported.

As the COVID-19 pandemic greatly affected sea and air transport capacity, the China-Europe freight train service has played a significant role in stabilizing international logistics. The service has ensured the smooth transportation of goods including epidemic control materials, given its stability and all-weather features.