China’s economy expanded 4.9 per cent year-on-year in the third quarter, missing expectations but storming ahead of other nations still suffering the economic fallout from the pandemic.
Chinese GDP continued its recovery between July and September, marking a second consecutive quarter of growth following a 3.2 per cent hike in the second quarter.
The return to health for the world’s second-largest economy is a far cry from the slump it saw in the first quarter, when China’s economy shrank 6.8 per cent following compulsory closures of factories and manufacturing plants.
The historic plummet in the immediate wake of the pandemic marked the first time China’s economy contracted since the country first started recording quarterly figures in 1992.
This quarter’s results missed economists’ expectations of 5.2 per cent growth, but signaled a dramatic recovery for China’s industrial markets.
Industrial production in China swelled 6.9 per cent in September, securing a return to pre-Covid levels last seen in December.
Retail sales, which lagged behind China’s wider recovery, also recorded their best performance this year, beating expectations to rise 3.3 per cent last month.
The latest GDP data means China is now well on its way to six per cent growth rate the country recorded in the third quarter last year, before the pandemic took hold across the globe.
“While Europe appears to be battling a slowing economy, and the prospect of a surging second wave, the Chinese economy finally appears to be gaining traction, after months of sub-par consumer spending,” said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK.
“This outperformance raised expectations that retail sales in September would finally start to show signs of life after months of weak readings. The performance of the Chinese consumer hasn’t been the same since the country came out of lockdown at the end of February, though optimism in the summer started to improve as a result of positive data from the auto sector, with reports from the likes of Daimler, as well as Apple talking of some decent rebounds in their Chinese markets.”