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China’s GDP: The economy will grow by 2.3% in 2020 as the recovery accelerates

The world’s second-largest economy grew 2.3 percent in 2020 from a year earlier, according to government statistics released on Monday.
This is the slowest annual growth rate in China in decades – not since 1976 has the country had a worse year, when GDP fell by 1.6% during social and economic shocks.
But a year later, when a crippling pandemic plunged major world economies into recession, China apparently came out on top. Enlargement also exceeded expectations. The International Monetary Fund, for example, predicts that China̵
7;s economy will grow by 1.9% in 2020. It is the only major global economy that the IMF expects to grow at all.
The pace of recovery also appears to be accelerating: GDP grew by 6.5% year-on-year, faster than 4.9% in the third quarter.

“The performance was better than we expected,” Ning Jiche, a spokesman for the China National Bureau of Statistics, told a news conference in Beijing.

Last year, the country canceled its growth target for the first time in decades as the pandemic dealt a historic blow to the economy. GDP shrank by nearly 7% in the first quarter as large parts of the country were blocked to limit the spread of the virus.

Since then, however, the government has tried to stimulate growth through major infrastructure projects and by offering money to stimulate spending among citizens.

Industrial production was a particularly large driver of growth, jumping 7.3% in December from a year earlier.

“In and out of the blockade before anyone else, the Chinese economy was moving forward as much of the world struggled to maintain balance,” wrote Frederick Neumann, co-chair of Asian economic research at HSBC, in a report from the study on Monday.

China's economy grew by 2.3% in 2020 as the recovery accelerated

This has “put a floor under growth” in others regional markets, he added. Growing Chinese investment in infrastructure and real estate, for example, has been a boon for countries such as Australia, South Korea and Japan, which have exported supplies to China.

Trade was also strong. China’s total surplus for the year reached a record 535 billion dollars, which is 27% more than in 2019, according to statistics released last Friday. Analysts pointed out that the country took advantage of the high demand for security equipment and electronics as people around the world worked from home.

Chinese markets reversed opening losses on Monday to rise after the announcement. The Shanghai Composite (SHCOMP) has risen by 0.8%, while the Shenzhen Components Index – a benchmark for the city’s technology exchange – has risen by 1.6%. Hong Kong Attach the Seng index (HSI) increased by 1%.

There are still some weaknesses. Retail sales lost some steam in December, up 4.6% from 5% in November. For the whole year, retail sales fell by 3.9%. A spokesman for the National Bureau of Statistics, Ning, blamed coronavirus revival in some places for declining sales.

“Sporadic ‘cases in China’ will lead to uncertainty [our] economic recovery, “ he added.

However, Ning said the country believes the pandemic is under control, and said authorities expect people to spend more money this year.

Analysts from Capital Economics, meanwhile, we believe the prospects are “bright” in the near future.

“Despite the recent decline in retail sales, we are seeing much higher consumption, as households are reducing the excess savings accumulated over the past year,” Julian Evans-Pritchard, a senior Chinese economist at Capital Economics, wrote in a note Monday. “Meanwhile, the back winds from last year’s stimulus should keep the industry and construction strong for some time to come.”

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