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China's Q3 GDP grows 4.9pc, economy gains more momentum

CHINA's economic recovery gathered pace in the third quarter as consumers returned to malls and major trading partners reopened for business, shaking off the record slump seen earlier this year

20 October 2020 - 19:00

CHINA's economic recovery gathered pace in the third quarter as consumers returned to malls and major trading partners reopened for business, shaking off the record slump seen earlier this year.

The world's second-biggest economy saw growth of 4.9 per cent between July and September, compared to the same period last year.



However the figure is lower than the 5.2 per cent expected by economists, according to media reports.



For the first three months of this year China's economy shrank by 6.8 per cent when it saw nationwide shutdowns of factories and manufacturing plants.



'China has become the first major economy to return to its pre-virus growth path, thanks to its rapid containment of Covid-19 and effective stimulus response,' said analysts from Capital Economics. However, they warned a renewed slowdown is likely from late 2021 as stimulus fades.



China's trade figures for September also pointed to a strong recovery, with exports growing by 9.9 per cent and imports growing by 13.2 per cent compared to the same month last year.



China's retail spending has lagged the comeback in factory activity as heavy job losses and persistent worries about infection kept consumers at home, even as restrictions lifted.



However that is expected to have changed in the third quarter, according to Reuters.



In September, auto sales marked a sixth straight month of gains with a solid 12.8 per cent growth and Ford Motor Co's F N China vehicle sales jumped 25 per cent in the third quarter from a year earlier.



Domestic passenger flights in September, meanwhile, beat their Covid-19 levels, indicating that sector was approaching a full recovery.



The government has rolled out a raft of measures, including more fiscal spending, tax relief and cuts in lending rates and banks' reserve requirements to revive the virus-hit economy and support employment.



The International Monetary Fund has forecast an expansion of 1.9 per cent for China for the full year, the only major economy expected to report growth in 2020.


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