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Financial News: China GDP Growth Misses Expectations

China GDP Growth Misses Expectations

01/17/2024 - 02:42:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - China's economic growth missed expectations in the fourth quarter but the pace of whole year expansion met the government target despite the property crisis, weak global demand and overburdened government debt.

Gross domestic product registered 5.2 percent annual growth in the fourth quarter, data released by the National Bureau of Statistics showed on Wednesday.

The growth was bigger than the 4.9 percent expansion registered in the third quarter, but missed economists' forecast of 5.3 percent.

The acceleration in the fourth quarter growth largely reflects the low base of comparison as the pandemic disrupted economic activity in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Quarterly economic growth eased to 1.0 percent, as expected, from a revised 1.5 percent.

In the whole year of 2023, economic growth exceeded the government target of around 5 percent. GDP grew 5.2 percent in 2023 after rising 3.0 percent in the previous year.

Although some near-term boost from policy easing is anticipated, this is unlikely to prevent a renewed slowdown later this year, economists at Capital Economics said.

The government comfortably met its 2023 growth target but achieving that pace of expansion this year will prove a lot more challenging, economists added.

In December, industrial production rose 6.8 percent annually, better than the 6.6 percent growth forecast.

Meanwhile, retail sales grew 7.4 percent, which was weaker than the forecast of 8.0 percent.

Fixed asset investment climbed 3.0 percent in the twelve months to December. Investment was forecast to climb 2.9 percent in the whole year.

At the same time, property investment decreased 9.6 percent.

The unemployment rate edged up to 5.1 percent in December from 5.0 percent a month ago.

The statistical office said the youth unemployment rate was 14.9 percent. The NBS had suspended releasing youth unemployment data after the rate hit a record 21.3 percent in June 2023.

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