China reported a GDP growth of 4.9 percent in the months of July to September compared to a similar period last year, data released on Monday by the National Bureau of Statistics reveals. The Chinese economy picked up in the third quarter despite the global economic turmoil caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
In the second quarter (April-June), China recorded 3.2 percent growth in the GDP at a time when advanced and emerging economies were descending into a recession. However, a 6.8% contraction during the first three months of the year has dragged the overall growth for the nine months to September to a cumulative 0.7%.
China’s recovery has been driven by rebound in consumer spending as more people come out of their homes to spend money in the physical shops.
Retail sales grew by 0.9 percent in the third quarter compared to a similar period last year. However, in the nine months to September retail sales contracted 7.2 percent from a year ago. Online sale of goods soared in the three quarters accounting for 24.3 percent of retail sales.
Industrial production was also up with China’s major industrial enterprises growing 1.2 percent from a year earlier. For instance, in September the purchasing manager index rose to 51.5, above the 50.0 mark for the first time since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
Real estate investment coupled with exports boosted the growth in the quarter under review. For instance, September saw the China’s exports rise by 9.9 percent as demand from trading partners surged due to lifting of restrictions on movement and international flights.
The IMF in the World Economic Outlook; October 2020 says that China will be the only major economy to record growth in 2020 at 1.9 percent.
The bureau says that the international environment is still complicated with considerable instabilities and uncertainties.