REPRISE: In the first quarter the GDP of China had collapsed by 6.8%
While the economic crisis, a consequence of the coronavirus, shakes all the countries of the world, the figures from China give hope to the prospects of a rapid return to normal. The Chinese economy indeed experienced a rebound of 4.9% over one year in the third quarter, confirming its recovery after a historic collapse in GDP at the start of the year, according to official statistics released on Monday.
“A sustained recovery”
Although questionable, China’s official GDP figure is still under scrutiny given the country’s weight in the global economy. This growth rate, however, remains far from the level reached in 2019 (+ 6.1%), which was already a three-decade low. But it is much better than in the first quarter (-6.8%) when China had posted its worst economic performance since the end of the Maoist era when the Covid-19 epidemic paralyzed the country.
The Asian giant has since managed to virtually eradicate the epidemic. And from the second quarter, the country returned to growth (+ 3.2%). Over the period from July to September, the Chinese economy experienced “a sustained recovery” despite a “difficult” economic situation both in China and abroad due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the National Bureau of Statistics.
The good result of retail sales
For their part, retail sales rose sharply in September over one year (+ 3.3%). This key indicator of consumption was in positive territory for the first time this year in August (+ 0.5% year on year), after a plunge due to the epidemic. However, some sectors are still struggling, such as hotels, restaurants and leisure. At the same time, industrial production achieved its best performance since the start of the year, with an increase of 6.9% over one year. This is a result above the expectations of analysts polled by the financial agency Bloomberg (+ 5.8%).
Finally, the unemployment rate, measured in China only in urban areas, stood in September at 5.4% against 5.6% the previous month. Particularly monitored by the government, this figure excludes from its calculation the millions of migrant workers, weakened by the pandemic. The unemployment rate reached an all-time high of 6.2% of the urban labour force in February.