By Li Xinping, People’s Daily
The climbing “excavator index” mirrors China’s endeavors to rev up infrastructure construction and stabilize investment and growth.
Statistics showed that 65.4 percent of all engineering equipment across China were operating in July, higher than the January-June figure of 60.37 percent. In the first half of this year, the total working hours of excavators increased 6.86 percent year on year.
The rising trend of the “excavator index” is corroborated by relevant statistics released by the National Bureau of Statistics of China (NBSC).
According to the NBSC, infrastructure investment grew 7.4 percent year on year in the first seven months of this year, which was 0.3 percentage points higher than the January-June figure.
Over 134,000 new infrastructure projects commenced in the first half of this year, up 26,000 from a year ago. The total investment of new projects expanded 22.9 percent year on year during the same period, and the paid-in investment (real estate investment not included) went up by 18.8 percent.
These figures fully indicate that China’s efforts to make proactive investments in infrastructure have paid off. As a matter of fact, it takes time for engineering projects to turn investment into tangible achievements. It is believed that as more policies are implemented to stabilize the economy, effective investments will be further expanded.
Infrastructure offers solid support for economic and social development. Major infrastructure projects, involving a number of industries, can attract huge investment and create massive job opportunities. They play an important role in stabilizing macro economy.
This year, both central and local policies have been issued to improve traditional and new infrastructure construction.
To bolster areas of weakness, China is steadily pushing forward the implementation of 102 megaprojects earmarked for the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) period, and some 2,600 smaller projects were already spun off from these megaprojects.
Besides, the country has kicked off a vast plan to build regional data center clusters in its western region that process data generated in the east. Currently, over 3,100 “5G+Industrial Internet” projects are under construction across China, and more than 1.85 million 5G base stations have been established.
This not only offers solid support for stabilizing the fundamentals of the Chinese economy, but also contributes to the construction of the country’s modern infrastructure system.
China is currently at a critical stage of economic recovery. It should give full play to the role of effective investment in economic recovery to consolidate previous achievements and further stabilize macro economy. It should give support to projects that aim at both near-term and long-term benefits. Transport, energy, logistics, and rural infrastructure, as well as new infrastructure projects shall be major areas of investment, so that more momentums will be gathered for expanding effective investment.
Besides, effective investment must be well utilized through market-oriented manners. For instance, the leading role of special bonds must be brought into full play. In the first half of 2022, effective investment driven by special bonds offered important support for stabilizing economy. Gross capital formation contributed to a 0.8-percentage rise in China’s economic growth.
Though the Chinese economy still faces challenges and problems, the fundamentals sustaining China’s long-term stable economic growth remain unchanged.
The rising “excavator index” reflects China’s accelerating infrastructure construction, as well as growing benefits of and confidence in investment. Such a positive trend is generating new impetus driving continuous development of the Chinese economy.