The real estate sector continues to be the biggest drag on the economy. Real estate investment plummeted to -9.6% year-on-year at the end of 2023, while the number of buildings sold also fell by 6.5%. Property prices on the secondary market fell 8.9% from the peak, while 39 of the National Bureau of Statistics’ sample of 70 cities saw a drop of more than 10% from the peak.
Trade is hindering growth. Last year, the trade balance fell 3.4% year-on-year to $858.6 billion, while exports and imports fell 5.1% year-on-year and 5.6% year-on-year, respectively. The positive side is that there have been some signs of bottoming out in recent months; December exports fell to the lowest year-on-year level in eight months and imports recovered to positive year-on-year growth.
Consumption is the great engine of growth
Consumption was the main driver of growth, but while month-over-month volatility has been high, retail sales growth has trended downward overall, ending the year at 7.2% year-over-year and not yet has recovered pre-pandemic growth levels despite a favorable base. effect.
The most encouraging sign has been a clear acceleration in credit growth. Aggregate financing had virtually stagnated, growing just 1.3% year-on-year over the first seven months of 2023 before a change in policy tone in August sparked 32.2% year-on-year growth over the past five months. of the year.