China’s GDP is better in the third quarter, delayed data shows | Catch My Job


Shipping containers stand in stacks at Zhangjiagang Port on October 21, 2022.

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BEIJING — China said Monday its gross domestic product grew 3.9 percent in the third quarter from a year ago, beating expectations.

The data was originally released on October 18, but was delayed late on October 17 without explanation. The Communist Party of China held its 20th National Congress from October 16 to 22.

Analysts polled by Reuters before Oct. 18 had expected China to report GDP growth of 3.4% in the third quarter.

Officially reported growth of 3.9% year-on-year in the third quarter marked an increase from 0.4% in the second quarter, bringing year-to-date growth to 3%.

That is still well below the official target of around 5.5%.

Covid controls on business activity, especially in the second quarter of the year, affected growth and led many investment banks to cut their forecasts for the full year to around 3%.

The latest Congress has not signaled whether the Covid policy will soon end or continue.

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China also released trade data for September on Monday after an inexplicable silence on the figures, which were expected on October 14.

Exports, China’s main driver of growth, beat expectations with a 5.7% increase in dollar terms in September. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected a 4.1 percent increase.

However, imports in US dollar terms rose just 0.3% in September from a year ago, missing a Reuters forecast of 1% growth.

Real estate slows growth

Overall, the data reflected the impact of Covid-19 containment and a slump in real estate, while the auto industry remained a bright spot under Beijing’s support for new energy vehicles.

Retail sales rose 2.5% in September from a year ago, slowing from August and missing expectations of 3.3% in a Reuters poll.

Within retail sales, the hospitality industry fell by 1.7% in September compared to last year. Furniture, home appliances and building materials also fell last month from a year earlier.

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However, sales of cars, one of the largest categories by value, rose 14.2% in September compared to last year.

Revenues are rising

The unemployment rate in cities reached 5.5% in September. Among people aged 16 to 24, it remained much higher and amounted to 17.9%.

For the first three quarters, disposable income per capita of the urban population increased by 2.3% on an annual basis, when inflation is taken into account. That’s an average monthly disposable income of 4,165 yuan ($587) for city residents.

Incomes in China vary greatly depending on the size of the city and location.

Industrial production exceeds expectations

Industrial production rose 6.3% in September from a year ago, well above the 4.5% increase expected by Reuters. Car production rose by nearly 24%, while the country produced more than double the number of new energy vehicles compared to a year ago.

“Industrial activity has been a source of strength recently,” Goldman Sachs chief Asia Pacific economist Andrew Tilton said on CNBC’s “Street Signs” on Monday. “The big picture is still that the economy is operating significantly below potential this year.”

Investment in fixed assets rose 5.9% in the first three quarters of the year, slightly below Reuters’ forecast of 6%.

Investments in real estate decreased by 8% during that time, which is more than the 7.4% decline compared to the same period of the previous year recorded in the first eight months of this year.

Annual investments in infrastructure accelerated to 8.6% year-on-year growth in September, from 8.3% in August. In production, it took place at approximately the same pace.

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