China's economic recovery to quicken in fourth quarter
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Analysts polled by Reuters forecast GDP grew 6.1% in October-December from a year earlier, accelerating from the third quarter’s 4.9% pace.
That would bring its full-year expansion to 2.1%, likely making China the only major economy to see growth last year but still the country’s weakest pace in more than four decades.
Aided by strict virus containment measures and emergency relief for businesses, the economy has recovered steadily from a steep 6.8% slump in the first three months of 2020, when an outbreak of COVID-19 in the central city of Wuhan turned into a full blown epidemic.
On a quarterly basis, growth likely quickened to 3.2% in October-December from 2.7% in the previous quarter, the poll showed.Data on Thursday showed Chinese exports grew by more than expected in December, as coronavirus disruptions around the world fuelled demand for Chinese goods even as a stronger yuan made exports more expensive for overseas buyers.
While this year’s predicted growth rate would be the strongest in a decade, led by a big jump in the first quarter, it is rendered less impressive coming off the low base set in pandemic-stricken 2020.
Some analysts also cautioned that a recent rebound in COVID-19 cases in China could impact activity and consumption in the run-up to next month’s long Lunar New Year holidays.
China reported the highest number of daily COVID-19 cases in more than 10 months, official data showed on Friday, due to a severe outbreak in the northeast that has put more than 28 million people under lockdown.
The International Monetary Fund said this month that China should maintain some policy support for the economy this year, but steps are needed to spur private demand and achieve more balanced growth over the medium term.
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