China’s economy growing despite pandemic

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CHINA has continued to record steady economic growth of 4.9 per cent in the third quarter of the year, as the country continues its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

   Retail spending in the country has been reported to have returned to pre-virus levels, according to government data released today.

  Global demand for masks and other medical supplies has contributed to a sharp rise in factory output, authourities say.

   China’s economy experienced a contraction of 6.8 per cent in the first quarter of the year, as the country where the novel coronavirus first emerged.     But it was also quicker than most in containing its outbreak, and bounced back to growth of 3.2 per cent from April to June.

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   The latest figures are particularly good for trade, with a growth of 9.9 per cent in exports and 13.2 per cent in imports, as restrictions on movement between countries have eased.

   China’s economy was hit hard by the decision to shut factories early on in the pandemic, but by March the Communist Party declared the disease under control and started reopening workplaces and shops.

   It will be recalled that strict lockdown measures were eased in April after a drop in reported cases, and a hefty stimulus package was put in place to boost the economy.

   The Chinese Government has followed the development with measures to revive the coronavirus-hit economy and support the unemployed, including a promise in May to spend $280bn on meeting goals, in addition to creating nine million new jobs. 

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   The recovery is broadening out and becoming less reliant on government stimulus, said Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics in a research note. He said the data show growth still accelerating heading into the present quarter. 

   The economy is also expected to get a boost this year from Golden Week – an annual holiday in October that sees millions of Chinese traveling for leisure.   

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