The Chinese economy grew 6.5% in the fourth quarter of 2020, a faster pace than before the coronavirus pandemic which easily exceeded the expected performance of other major countries.
According to official data released on Monday, gross domestic product growth for the last quarter exceeded expectations, with the Chinese economy growing 2.3% for the full year, with industrial production continuing to boost the country’s recovery.
The new data points to a rapid recovery in the world’s second-largest economy, which declined early 2020 for the first time in more than four decades after authorities imposed an extended lockdown to stem the initial outbreak of the pandemic. In the fourth quarter of 2019, China grew 6%.
The subsequent recovery was fueled by higher industrial production, which received state support and added 7.1 percent in the fourth quarter, up from 5.8 percent in the previous quarter. Retail sales, a measure of consumer appetite, lagged behind the industrial sector and added 4.6 percent in the fourth quarter.
Ning Jizhe, head of the National Bureau of Statistics, said the economy “has recovered steadily” over the past year, but added that “changing epidemic dynamics and the external environment pose a multitude of challenges. ‘uncertainties’.
GDP figures, which beat expectations, came days after China recorded its highest monthly level trade surplus in December, fueled by three consecutive months of double-digit export growth. Exports rose 18 percent last month compared to the same period a year earlier.
The data adds to a series of other measures that reflect a booming Chinese economy. This month the the renminbi topped 6.5 against the US dollar for the first time since 2018, as the Chinese stock market hit its highest level since the global financial crisis.
The country’s return to growth last year drew a strong appetite from foreign investors, who injected around 1 billion rupees ($ 154 billion) into Chinese stocks and bonds through the investment programs of Hong Kong in 2020.
In China, new cases of Covid-19 slowed to a trickle in mid-2020, but a recent outbreak in northern Hebei province sparked a new wave of social restrictions and lockdowns. Last week, the country reported its first coronavirus death since April.
Unemployment was 5.2 percent in December, unchanged from the previous month. Investment in fixed assets grew 2.9% year-round, while investment in real estate jumped 7%.
Additional reporting by Xinning Liu in Beijing
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