Beijing, Oct 19 (efe-epa).- China’s gross domestic product (GDP) increased by 4.9 percent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2020, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Monday.
According to official data, this confirms the trend of economic recovery in the country after managing to control the COVID-19 epidemic, which caused the first contraction in China’s GDP (-6.8 percent) since 1976 in the first quarter, although it expanded by 3.2 percent year-on-year in the second quarter.
However, the figure was slightly under analysts’ forecasts, which had predicted a growth of 5 percent between July and September.
The world’s second-largest economy expanded by 0.7 percent in the first nine months of the year, returning to growth after shrinking 1.6 percent in the first half of 2020 owing to the collapse between January and March.
In nominal terms, China’s total wealth at the end of September stood at 72.28 trillion yuan ($10.79 trillion).
“The economic growth of the first three quarters shifted from negative to positive, the relations between supply and demand gradually improved, the vitality and dynamic of market were enhanced, and the employment and people’s livelihood were well guaranteed. The national economy continued the steady recovery and the overall social stability was maintained,” the NBS said.
This year, for the first time since 1990, China did not set a target for economic growth due to “great uncertainty” regarding the pandemic and the global economic and trade environment.
Meanwhile, international institutions are optimistic about China’s economic prospects.
The International Monetary Fund expects China’s GDP to grow by 1.9 percent in 2020 while the World Bank forecasts a 2 percent expansion.
Either of these figures would be well below the 6.1 percent growth that the Chinese economy recorded in 2019, but they would still mean that the Asian country is one of the few in the world to expand this year with the IMF expecting the global economy to contract by 4.4 percent.
Other statistics released by the NBS on Thursday included industrial production, which increased by 1.2 percent until September, and retail sales, which tracks consumer spending and fell by 7.2 percent during that period.
These two indicators would confirm some analysts’ theories that the Chinese recovery has been stronger in production than in demand.
Investment in fixed assets grew by 0.8 percent while investment in real estate rose 5.6 percent year-on-year between January and September. EFE-EPA