In 2020, China’s economy grew at the slowest pace in more than four decades but remains on course to be the only major economy to have expanded in the year. The Chinese economy grew 2.3% in 2020, with growth in the final three months of the year up to 6.5%, surpassing pre-pandemic levels. “The GDP data shows the economy has almost normalised. This momentum will continue, although the current Covid-19 outbreak in a couple of provinces in northern China might temporarily cause fluctuation”, said Yue Su from the Economist Intelligence Unit.

China’s manufacturing sector is also said to have recovered, with industrial output up 7.3%. Exports are also reported to have grown by more than expected in December, as coronavirus disruptions around the world saw increased demand for Chinese goods. The richest 20% of Chinese had an average disposable income of more than CNY80,000 (US$12,000) last year, 10.2 times what the poorest 20% earn. The country’s per-capita consumption, after adjusting for inflation, dropped 4%, while retail sales declined 3.9%.

Sources: BBC/Bloomberg