Q3 data reveals China's economic recovery gathering steam
  ·  2023-10-19  ·   Source: Xinhua News Agency

This aerial photo taken on October 3 shows people visiting the Huangguoshu Waterfall in Anshun City of southwest China's Guizhou Province (XINHUA)

The Chinese economy has sustained its recovery momentum with solid progress made in high-quality development in both the third quarter (Q3) and the first three quarters of this year, official data showed on October 18.

China's gross domestic product (GDP) expanded 4.9 percent year on year in Q3, and went up 1.3 percent over Q2. It grew 5.2 percent year on year in the first three quarters of 2023, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

An array of other data released Wednesday underscored the gathering of steam by the world's second-largest economy, despite lingering global and domestic headwinds, consolidating the country's confidence in being able to meet its annual GDP growth target of around 5 percent.

Consumption, a mainstay of the Chinese economy, has seen a steady expansion with an 83.2-percent contribution to GDP growth in the first three quarters of this year.

The country's retail sales of consumer goods climbed 6.8 percent year on year during the period. This indicator also recorded growth in September with a 0.9-percentage-point rise compared to August, marking the second consecutive monthly increase.

Specifically, the service sector has played a key role in boosting consumption thanks to growing contact-and-gathering-based activities after China downgraded its management of COVID-19 in January this year.

In the first three quarters, per capita consumption expenditure on services accounted for 46.1 percent of total per capita spending of residents, a marked year-on-year increase of 2 percentage points. A travel boom during the just-concluded Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day holiday period further pointed to Chinese consumers' growing willingness to spend.

China's fixed-asset investment went up 3.1 percent year on year in the first nine months of this year, and rose 0.15 percent month on month in September. Investment in high-tech industries stayed robust with 11.4-percent year-on-year growth during the first three quarters.

China's property sector, considered a major economic drag, is also showing signs of recovery following a slew of supportive policies.

High-frequency data indicated a rebound in house transactions in major cities, and September credit statistics showed a month-on-month addition of over 100 billion yuan (about $13.69 billion) in real estate development loans and individual mortgages.

Recently many international financial institutions, including J.P. Morgan, Citibank and ANZ Bank, have lifted China's full-year GDP growth forecast due to the growing body of optimistic data.

The Trade and Development Report 2023 released by the UN Conference on Trade and Development earlier this month noted that China's economy has picked up this year and will grow more than 10 times faster than the eurozone, remaining a major contributor to global economic growth.

"We are very confident about achieving the annual economic growth target," NBS deputy head Sheng Laiyun said at the press conference on October 18, citing the economy's recovery momentum, gradual effects of pro-growth policies and the relatively low comparison base of the last Q4.

"Economic operation has its inertia, and Q4 is expected to maintain the steady recovery trend," Sheng added.

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