China is reaping the economic benefits of its COVID-19 policies

20 Octobre, 2020, 17:12 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Japan Financial Markets

Not only is China's gross domestic product growing, unemployment fell to 5.4 percent in September and industrial production rose 5.8 percent in July through September over the same quarter a year ago.

That now has China on track to be the only major world economy to record an expansion for the weird year of 2020, notes NPR.

The recovery is broadening out and becoming less reliant on government stimulus, Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics said in a report.

Retail sales rose 0.9% over a year earlier, up from a 7.2% contraction in the first half, when consumers already anxious about a slowing economy and a tariff war with Washington tightened their belts.

According to Monday data from the NBS, the Chinese economy grew 0.7 percent in the first three quarters of 2020. The country has posted the second-straight quarter of GDP growth.

Despite missing economists' forecasts for a 5.5-percent expansion, China is still the only major economy that has managed to rebound during the worst global slump since the Great Depression.

Growth in the world's second-largest economy accelerated to 4.9% in the three months ending in September compared to the same period a year ago, up from the previous quarter's 3.2%, official data showed Monday.

The blue-chip CSI300 index fell 0.8%, to 4,755.49, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.7% to 3,312.67.

Virus Outbreak China
Consumer spending and industrial production in the country has risen to pre-pandemic levels

Retail sales grew 3.3 percent in September from a year earlier, speeding up from a modest 0.5 percent rise in August and posting the fastest growth since December 2019.

On a quarter-on-quarter basis, GDP rose 2.7 per cent in July-September, the bureau said, compared with expectations for a 3.2 per cent rise and an 11.5 per cent rise in the previous quarter.

"Fiscal policy is set to remain supportive until at least the start of next year, which should keep activity in industry and construction strong". Beijing's overall growth may be meager, around 1.9%, but that's downright robust when you consider that the United States economy is expected to shrink by 4.3% this year and the eurozone by even more, 8.3%, per the Wall Street Journal.

Premier Li Keqiang warned earlier in October that China needs to make arduous efforts to achieve its full-year economic goals, citing a complex domestic and foreign environment.

The robust numbers from China, which consumes more industrial metals than the rest of the world combined, also lifted nickel prices, which hit $15,815 a tonne in London, the highest since November 2019.

However, the third quarter saw several signs of a consumption recovery.

China has reported 4,634 coronavirus deaths and 85,685 confirmed cases, as well as three suspected cases.

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