Monday, 14 November 2011

Consumer Prices for October 2011

National Bureau of Statistics of China 9 November 2011
In October, the consumer price index went up by 5.5 percent year-on-year. 

Investment in Fixed Assets from January to October 2011

National Bureau of Statistics of China 10 November 2011
From January to October, the investment in fixed assets (excluding rural households) 
reached 24,136.5 billion yuan, up by 24.9 percent year-on-year, remained the general 
level over the first nine months of this year.

Total Retail Sales of Consumer Goods in October 2011

National Bureau of Statistics of China 11 November 2011

In October 2011, the total retail sales of consumer goods attained 1654.6 billion yuan, 
up 17.2 percent year-on-year (Nominal growth rate. The real growth rate was 
11.3 percent. The follows are nominal growth rates if there’s no additional explanation). 
Of the total, the retail sales of consumer goods of industrial enterprises (units) above 
designated size was 762.9 billion yuan, increased 21.3 percent. From January to October, 
the total retail sales of consumer goods amounted to 14735.7 billion yuan, up 17.0 percent 
of nominal growth rate, (or up 11.2 percent of real growth rate) year-on-year. 
Month-on-month increase of the total retail sales of consumer goods in October was 1.3 percent.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Occasional note on the abuse of English: going forward

UPDATE: Since I posted this comment in November 2011, I have started a new blog, Ken Davies' Writing Clean Clear English ( This comment is published there, along with a developing body of advice on how to write and speak good English.

This is the first of a series of occasional comments on current abuses of the English language common in business writing. These may be collected and published at a later date.

There are a number of phrases which add nothing to the meaning of a sentence but are frequently used by commentators on the business and/or economic scene. Their purpose appears to be socioeconomic: they indicate that the speaker or writer wishes to appear an authoritative expert, worth many times the salary of a comparable academic or a mere member of the public with a similar opinion.

One of these that I find particularly irritating is "going forward". The speaker/writer invariably inserts this in a sentence that already contains a future tense, for example "price increases will decelerate going forward", so the phrase is clearly redundant.

Next time you hear/read a sentence containing "going forward", ask yourself if the same sentence would make sense if the phrase were to be replaced by "going backward", perhaps accompanied by the past tense.

If you are still not cured, just try the sentence without those two words. Is there is any difference? Of course not.

This note will have served its purpose if even one person stops using this meaningless formula.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Let's be serious, Europe

I don't think anyone in their right mind seriously thought China was going to save the Eurozone by bailing out the indebted countries with a generous contribution to the European Financial Stability Facility.

True, it is in China's interest that the European Union economy remains stable, since it is China's largest export market. On Monday 7 November 2011 Vice Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan reiterated this point when he spoke on CCTV about this relationship on the occasion of the visit of CCPCC Chair Jia Qingling to Greece, the Netherlands and Germany. He said that, in addition to the aim of stepping up economic co-operation between China and each of the three countries, China supported Europe in its efforts to resolve the debt crisis. As a "comprehensive strategic partner of the EU", he promised, China would support these efforts and support Greece and other European countries with practical actions to overcome the crisis.