Daily US Times: China’s economy grew at the slowest pace in more than forty years last year, but remains on course to be the only major economy to have expanded in 2020, official figures show.
Last year, China’s economy grew 2.3% last year, despite coronavirus shutdowns causing output to slump in early 2020.
Strict virus restriction measures and emergency relief for businesses helped the economy recover.
The growth of China’s economy in the last three months of the year picked up to 6.5%.
Yue Su, principal economist for the Economist Intelligence Unit, said: “The GDP data shows the economy has almost normalised. This momentum will continue, although the current Covid-19 outbreak in a couple of provinces in northern China might temporarily cause fluctuation.”
The latest figures show China’s mainland share markets as well as Hong Kong’s Hang Seng posted modest gains, which exceeded economists’ expectations, a Reuters poll suggested.
However, the coronavirus pandemic was still a major drain on growth in 2020, with nationwide shutdowns of manufacturing plants and factories forcing economic growth down to its slowest rate for four decades.
The manufacturing sector of China appears to have recovered, with Monday’s data showing a 7.3% increase in industrial output.
Exports have also led the way. Chinese exports grew by more than expected in December, data last week showed, as coronavirus disruptions around the world fuelled demand for Chinese goods.
That is despite a stronger yuan, which makes Chinese exports more expensive for overseas buyers.