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Economy/Resources - 214. page

Third Quarter Housing Sales Slide Sharply

As China’s central bank’s Nov. 18 monetary policy report reveals, the third quarter housing market continues to plunge. The year-over-year decline of housing sales in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou are 55.8%, 41.1%, 46.2% and 25.9%, respectively. The nationwide commodity housing sales over the first three quarters this year is 0.4 billion sq meters, 14.9% lower than the same period last year. Total sales revenue is 1.6 trillion yuan (234 billion dollars), only 85% of the same period last year.

The report states the main reason for the drop of real estate transactions as the fast climbing the housing price in the period before. With the economic prospect turning volatile and tumbling stock market, buyers have changed their expectation of future income and trend of housing price. The real estate is a pillar industry of the economy as a major engine for steel, construction materials, and household appliance manufactures.

Source: Beijing Evening News, November 18, 2008

Amid Massive Close-downs, Government Restricts Layoffs

The sapping demand caused by the global financial crisis has hit hard on several coastal provinces in China. The Ministry of Human Resource and Social Security recently sent a notice, emphasizing a stable employment as the most important task. Shandong and Hubei provincial authorities require government review and approval before any company fires more than 40 people. The Qingdao city of Shandong even demands a nod from local officials before laying off 20 workers or more than 10% of the total employees.

In south China, media has reported thousands of close-downs amid the crisis, some senior managers even committing suicide or fleeing overseas. Although the government has announced the 4 trillion yuan (586 billion dollars) stimulus package, there are widespread doubts on whether the plan can effectively make up for the job losses. The government fears outburst of serious social problems, if not well tackling the shaky job market.

Source: BBC Chinese, November 18, 2008

On Factories Closing Down in Guangdong Province

Officials from Guangdong Province openly denied the rumor of “50,000 factories are closing down” and disclosed that the total number of factories closed between January and September were 7148 with most of them being the small to medium size factories.

On November 14 and 15, Premier Wen Jiabao visited Guangzhou, Shenzheng, Dongguan, and Foshan in Guangdong and called for financial infusion to support the small to medium size companies in the region.

Xinhua, November 17, 2008
Xinhua, November 15, 2008

Government Banking Regulatory Body Warns Banks about International Financial Crisis

The China Banking Regulatory Commission requests that the banking sector monitor the international financial crisis and its adverse impact on China’s economy closely. The banks are requested to improve the forecast and management of major potential risks, and to monitor and control credit risks of crisis-stricken industries and related markets.

Source: Xinhua, November 12, 2008

State Council Introduced Measures to Expand Domestic Consumption

On November 5, Premier Wen Jiabao chaired a State Council meeting and discussed the measures to expand the domestic consumption to ensure smooth economy growth.

It was agreed that it is necessary to adopt a macro economic policy in light of the world economic crisis which will contain the execution of proactive fiscal policies and loose monetary policy; speed up the projects to improve people’s living standard as well as infrastructure, bio-environment and natural disaster recovery. The measure will also include the effort to improve the living standard of the low income group.

Source: Xinhua, November 11, 2008

Millions of Migrant Workers Return Home

In little over two weeks from October 11 to October 27, 1.2 million people boarded the train from Guangzhou Train Station. The number is 130,000 higher than the same period last year. Most of them are migrant workers who were affected by factory shutdown and chose to return back to their hometown. Experts predicted that the trend of factory closing is currently moving from the south towards the east part of China.

Source: Mingpo, November 9, 2008

Agriculture Official on Privatization of Land

Privatization of land will not solve China’s problems, said Huang, an Agriculture official, at a press event on November 4, 2008.  Huang stated that China agriculture sector cannot compete with that of the United States because of low land per capita (1.38 mu per person) and its small scale of economy.  The right way, according to Huang, is to increase the efficiency of land use and the scale of economy through transfer of  land use right. 
Source: Xinhua, November 7, 2008

China Exports Slows Down

Chinese Customs authorities released export statistics for the first three quarters of 2008 showing an 11.8% net growth of export, totaling $1,074 billion.  It is a reduction of 8.1 percentage point comparing to the same period last year. The reduction was mostly caused by the decrease in the traditional and bulk products. A China Customs official warned that China cannot ignore the impact on its import and export trade of the U.S. financial crisis.

Source: Xinhua, November 6, 2008