China economy grows 4.9% in Q3, extending virus recovery

Agence France-Presse October 19,2020 - 10:50 AM

Beijing, ChinaChina’s economy grew 4.9 percent on-year in the third quarter, sustaining its rebound from bruising virus lockdowns and moving closer to pre-pandemic levels, official data showed Monday, October 19, 2020.

The world’s second-largest economy grew slightly below expectations in the July-September period, National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) data showed, while it cautioned of uncertainty ahead as “the international environment is still complicated”.

The country’s recovery has so far put it on track to be the only major economy expanding this year, according to International Monetary Fund forecasts, while nations around the world continue to struggle with lockdowns and new waves of infections.

Analysts polled by AFP earlier pegged third-quarter growth in China, where the coronavirus first surfaced, at 5.2 percent from a year ago, up from the second quarter’s 3.2 percent rise.

China’s Communist leadership has hailed its handling of the virus, giving experimental vaccines to hundreds of thousands of its citizens as it seeks to reframe the pandemic’s origin story.

People in China are back out shopping, travelling and eating — in stark contrast to many other parts of the world.

But long-term fears over jobs and a potential virus rebound in China are weighing on consumer sentiment, despite government attempts to reignite domestic demand.

On Monday, NBS data showed retail sales grew faster than expected in September at 3.3 percent, up from 0.5 percent growth on-year the month before.

But this still lagged behind industrial output growth, which came in stronger than expected at 6.9 percent from a year ago last month.

Meanwhile, the urban unemployment rate dipped further to 5.4 percent in September, although fixed-asset investment growth turned positive for the first time in 2020.

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TAGS: China, economy, finance, pandemic, virus

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