China Grows 4.9% in Third Quarter as Consumers Find Way Back to Stores

The Chinese economy expanded by 4.9% in third quarter of the year, Beijing’s National Bureau of Statistics said Monday, in a sign that the country is on its way back to its pre-pandemic growth trend.

GDP growth however came in below the lowest of analysts estimates polled by Reuters, who penciled in at least 5.2% for the quarter. But it marks an acceleration over the second quarter, when the economy expanded by 3.2% after shrinking 6.8% in the first three months.

Industrial production continues to rebound strongly, up 6.9% in September, but the official figures also show that retail sales came in ahead of expectations, up 3.3% in September after declining sharply in the first seven months of the year and flattening out in August.

According to the International Monetary Fund, China is the only world major economy that should grow in 2020, with GDP seen rising 1.9% while advanced economies would shrink by 5.8% and emerging economies (a group that includes China) would see their combined GDP shrink by 3.3%

China’s growth benefited from the world economy’s rebound in the third quarter, and is being fueled by public investment. Now consumers are also contributing to the recovery, but the strength of the pandemic’s second spike in the country’s foreign markets may damp growth in the last months of the year.

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