China’s economy picked up speed in the fourth quarter, with growth beating expectations as it ended a rough coronavirus-striken 2020 in remarkably good shape and remained poised to expand further this year even as the global pandemic raged unabated.
Reuters reported that the world’s second-largest economy surprised many with the speed of its recovery from last year’s coronavirus jolt, especially as policymakers have also had to navigate tense US-China relations on trade and other fronts.
Beijing’s strict virus curbs enabled it to largely contain the COVID-19 outbreak much quicker than most countries, while government-led policy stimulus and local manufacturers stepping up production to supply goods to many countries crippled by the pandemic have also helped fire up momentum.
Gross domestic product (GDP) expanded 6.5 per cent year-on-year in the fourth quarter, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed on Monday, quicker than the 6.1 per cent forecast by economists in a Reuters poll, and followed an upwardly revised 4.9 per cent growth in the third quarter.
GDP grew 2.3 per cent 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.
“The higher-than-expected GDP number indicates that growth has stepped into the expansionary zone, although some sectors remain in recovery,” Xing Zhaopeng, economist at ANZ in Shanghai.