In pursuing development last year, China faced many difficulties and challenges. World economic growth was weak, international economic and trade frictions intensified, and downward pressure on the domestic economy grew. The Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core rallied the Chinese people and led them in surmounting difficulties and accomplishing the year's main targets and tasks, thus laying the crucial foundation needed to reach the goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects.
The economy remained stable overall. Gross domestic product (GDP) reached 99.1 trillion yuan, representing a 6.1 percent increase over the previous year. Around 13.52 million new urban jobs were added, and the surveyed unemployment rate was below 5.3 percent. Consumer prices rose by 2.9 percent. A basic equilibrium was maintained in the balance of payments.
The economic structure continued to improve, and the development priorities of regions are better aligned. Total retail sales of consumer goods exceeded 40 trillion yuan, and consumption continued to serve as the main engine driving growth. Advanced manufacturing and modern services registered rapid growth. Grain output was kept above 650 million metric tons. For the first time, permanent urban residents exceeded 60 percent of the population; progress was made in implementing major development strategies for regions.
New growth drivers became stronger. A number of major innovative achievements were made in science and technology. Emerging industries continued to grow; upgrading in traditional industries accelerated. Business startups and innovation continued to surge nationwide, with an average net increase of over 10,000 businesses per day.