A batch of new data paints a gloomy picture of China’s economy, where its leaders have been focusing on a power grab at the Chinese Communist Party’s 20th National Congress.

According to Apollo News, a statistics department at the People’s Bank of China released a survey on urban depositors on October 9.

The survey shows that Chinese residents’ “willingness to save” remained strong in the third quarter, while the employment sentiment index continued to drop to 35.4, the lowest value since the third quarter of 2019.

Among new depositors, the proportion of residents inclined to consume more decreased by 1.0 percentage points from the second quarter to 22.8%.

The latest data from the China Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) showed that the SME Development Index stood at 88.3 in August, unchanged from July but lower than last year. An index below 100 indicates that business confidence is weak, and their conditions tend to decline or deteriorate.

Meanwhile, small and medium-sized enterprises contribute more than 50% of China’s tax revenue, create more than 60% of the gross domestic product, and provide more than 80% of urban labor employment.

The central bank’s statistics department also released the third quarter entrepreneurs survey. It indicates that the entrepreneurs’ macroeconomic heat index declined 12.9 percentage points, or 26.9%, from last year’s period. 

Moreover, the index is trending down this year.

In late September, the China Index Research Institute released the sales performance rankings of real estate companies in the country.

The ranking shows that China’s top 100 real estate companies sold an average of about $7.6 billion (54.08 billion yuan) in the first nine months, down 45.1% year-on-year.

There were 15 real estate companies with sales exceeding $13.9 billion, a decrease of 12 companies from the same period last year, and 100 companies with sales of more than $1.4 billion, a decrease of 48 from a year earlier.

The data from the Bureau of Statistics also shows that China’s real estate development investment fell by 7.4% year-on-year in the first eight months. 

In September, several financial institutions lowered their forecasts for China’s economic growth in 2022. 

The Asian Development Bank downgraded its forecast for China’s growth to 3.3%, 1.7 percentage points lower than its previous forecast.

On September 29, the World Bank cut China’s growth forecast to 2.8%, saying buyers’ sentiment remains subdued and housing demand remains weak.

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