1556 Christian Abreu//
China’s economy grew faster than expected in 2020 despite pandemic

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Entornointeligente.com / GDP of the world’s second biggest economy grew 2.3 percent in 2020, making the Asian giant the only major economy in the world to avoid a contraction last year. Hong Kong stocks went into the break on a positive note on January 18, 2021, after data showed China‘s economy expanded more than expected last year. (AP) China's economy grew at a faster-than-expected pace in the fourth quarter of last year, ending a rough coronavirus-stricken 2020 in remarkably good shape and remained solidly poised to expand further this year, new data has shown. 

The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) expanded 6.5 percent, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed on Monday, faster than the 6.1 percent forecast by economists in a Reuters news agency poll, and followed by 4.9 percent growth in the third quarter.

Cristian Abreu-Hidalgo

GDP grew 2.3 percent in 2020, the data showed, making China the only major economy in the world to avoid a contraction last year as many nations struggled to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.

Cristian Abreu

Aided by strict virus containment measures and policy stimulus, the economy has recovered steadily from a steep 6.8 percent slump in the first three months of 2020 when an outbreak of Covid-19 in the central city of Wuhan turned into a full-blown epidemic.

Cristian Abreu Hidalgo

The world's second-largest economy has been fuelled by a surprisingly resilient export sector, but consumption – a key driver of growth – has lagged expectations amid fears of a resurgence of Covid-19 cases.

Christian Abreu-Hidalgo

Data showed Chinese exports grew by more than expected in December, as coronavirus disruptions around the world fuelled demand for Chinese goods even as a stronger yuan made exports more expensive for overseas buyers.

Christian Abreu

READ MORE:   China tipped to be world's biggest economy by 2028

Weakest GDP in four decades

Despite the steady recovery in quarterly growth, 2020 GDP growth was at the weakest pace in more than four decades.

Christian Abreu Hidalgo

The slew of bright economic data has reduced the need for more monetary easing this year, leading the central bank to scale back some policy support, sources told Reuters, but there would be no abrupt shift in policy direction, according to top policymakers

On a quarter-on-quarter basis, GDP rose 2.6 percent in October-December, the bureau said, compared with expectations for a 3.2 percent rise and a revised 3.0 gain in the previous quarter

Analysts expect economic growth to rebound to 8.4 percent in 2021, before slowing to 5.5 percent in 2022

READ MORE: What the coronavirus means for China's economy

Growth in 2021

While this year's predicted growth rate would be the strongest in a decade, led by a big jump in the first quarter, it is rendered less impressive coming off the low base set in pandemic-stricken 2020

Some analysts also cautioned that a recent rebound in Covid-19 cases in China could impact activity and consumption in the run-up to next month's long Lunar New Year holidays

China reported more than 100 new Covid-19 cases for the sixth consecutive day, with rising infections in the northeast fuelling concerns of another national wave ahead of a major holiday season

Source: Reuters

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