As the figures depict economy of Rizhao has urbanized rapidly in recent years. In 2008 the GDP of the city raised to 77,314 billion yuan, nearly increasing 15.1% compared to the previous year. The contribution of the primary industry was 8.274 billion yuan (↑ 5.7%), the secondary industry was 41.973 billion yuan (↑ 17.5%) and that of the tertiary industry was 27.067 billion yuan (↑ 15.1%).
Rizhao is now a major tourist resource provider for China with an influx of 14.66 million domestic and foreign tourists in 2008. Sun, sand, beaches, hilly areas and undisturbed natural surroundings have increased the revenue from 18.4% fetching up to 8.17 billion yuan in 2008. Today along with the maritime industry, tourism also finds itself amongst the strong basis for Rizhao’s economy.
Other than being a major port city dealing in minerals, Rizhao’s portside industry is rich in steel, iron, petrochemical, energy source, machinery, shipbuilding, pulp and paper, food processing, cereal, oil processing, woodwork products. It is a major producer of cereal, oil, fruits, animal products, wheat, corn, peanut, cotton, tobacco, silk cocoon, tea, fisheries, minerals, steel, and petroleum.
By 2010 Rizhao will become the biggest manufacturer of farming vehicles, metal fittings, oil refineries, soybean, aquatic and silk products.
In addition, it is one of the 15 coastal cities chosen for major construction as it houses two international ports and a railway line linking Asia with Europe. Rizhao is also the Eastern Bridgehead of the New Euro-Asia Continental Bridge.
The city is renowned for promoting and incorporating the use of sustainable energy in all construction projects through solar panels, thereby reducing carbon emissions and pollution. Nearly 99% of households use solar water heaters and traffic lights, street lights and park illuminations are powered by photovoltaic solar cells. The municipal government has made it mandatory to install solar panels in all buildings. The city is covered with half-million square meters of solar water heating panels equaling to 0.5 megawatts of electric water heaters. It consistently has been occupying the top positing in China for its air quality and has been designated as the Environmental Protection Model City by China's SEPA.
The city has also been awarded ten titles namely: National Model City of Environmental Protection, National Sanitary City, National Garden City, the Fascinating City of China, National Pilot City of Circular Economy and National Ecological Demonstration Zone.