Coronavirus: Chinese Growth at its Lowest in 44 Years

At first glance, the statistic may seem good. China was indeed in 2020 one of the few economies in the world to post positive growth (+ 2.3%), despite the coronavirus pandemic. But in fact, this was the smallest increase in GDP in 44 years over one year.

6.1% growth in 2019
In 2020, the Chinese economy “faced a serious and complex situation both at home and abroad due in particular to the enormous consequences of the epidemic” of coronavirus, admitted Monday during ‘a press conference Ning Jizhe, an official of the National Bureau of Statistics (BNS). The rate of GDP growth is thus down sharply compared to 2019, when Chinese growth was 6.1%, already at its lowest level in nearly three decades.

The first country affected by the Covid-19 epidemic, China experienced a historic decline in growth in the first quarter of 2020 (-6.8%), after unprecedented containment measures that weighed on activity. The gradual improvement in sanitary conditions from the spring, however, allowed GDP to rebound. In the last quarter of 2020, it fell to 6.5%, returning to a pre-pandemic level, the National Bureau of Statistics said.

A figure subject to caution
In the end, unlike most other countries that are expected to predict a recession, “China’s economy has enjoyed an enviable trajectory for most of 2020,” notes analyst Xiao Chun Xu of the Moody’s rating agency. Although questionable, the official growth figure is still under scrutiny, given China’s weight in the global economy. And the country appears as a barometer of the hoped-for recovery in global growth.

The first country affected by the Covid-19 epidemic, China experienced a historic decline in growth in the first quarter of 2020 (-6.8%), after unprecedented containment measures that weighed on activity. The gradual improvement in sanitary conditions from the spring, however, allowed GDP to rebound. In the last quarter of 2020, it fell to 6.5%, returning to a pre-pandemic level, the National Bureau of Statistics said.

A figure subject to caution
In the end, unlike most other countries that are expected to predict a recession, “China’s economy has enjoyed an enviable trajectory for most of 2020,” notes analyst Xiao Chun Xu of the Moody’s rating agency. Although questionable, the official growth figure is still under scrutiny, given China’s weight in the global economy. And the country appears as a barometer of the hoped-for recovery in global growth.

For its part, Chinese industrial production reached its highest growth rate of 2020 in December, with an increase of 7.3% over one year. Retail sales, the main indicator of consumption, on the other hand slowed down, with growth of only 4.6% over one year in December, against 5% the previous month.