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Thursday, May 30, 2024

China falls short of fourth-quarter GDP estimates, resumes publishing youth unemployment data

China Economy: GDP Growth and Unemployment Rates

China is a powerful global economy and its economic indicators are closely watched by economists and analysts all over the world. In the last quarter of 2023, China’s GDP growth was slightly lower than expected at 5.2%, coming in just under the 5.3% forecasted. The full-year GDP growth, which rose by 5.2%, was higher than the 3% increase in the previous year. What do these numbers mean? It means that China’s economy is transitioning to a new growth model, one more reliant on the manufacturing sector and service sector as investment in the property sector continues to decline.

Even though China has seen a government crackdown on the property sector due to its high reliance on debt, investment into real estate fell by 9.6% in 2023. However, investment in infrastructure and manufacturing saw an increase, showing a shift in the country’s investment landscape from real estate to other key sectors. China’s property sector is currently undergoing a process of “adjustment and transformation,” according to Kang Yi, director of the statistics bureau.

With 20% of China’s economy being contributed by the real estate sector, questions arise as to how this transition will affect the country’s overall economic performance. As authorities plan to tackle the challenges that lie ahead, expectations are that the economy will require a substantial amount of support to balance out the short- and long-term risks. China has ended the year with a mixed bag of economic results – retail sales have risen, but youth unemployment remains a concern. The unemployment rate for young people aged 16 to 24 was at 14.9% in 2023, still much higher than desired.

While retail sales increased, the growth was below expectations, with uncertainty about future income levels impacting consumer spending. Meanwhile, industrial production rose significantly, indicating some resilience in manufacturing output. The big question going into 2024 is whether China will introduce significant stimulus measures to bolster its economic growth.

With the anticipation of slower economic growth this year, Chinese authorities will likely focus on fiscal support as they work to upgrade the quality and quantity of the national economy. China’s Premier Li Qiang emphasized the need for strengthening internal drivers rather than relying on massive stimulus for short-term gains. While these reports provide insights into China’s economic health, there are still challenges ahead that will require a coordinated response from the government and other stakeholders.

As China continues to face economic volatility, it’s imperative to keep an eye on these developments as they will have ripple effects across global markets. With the need for sustained support, government efforts are crucial for balancing and boosting China’s economic growth in the coming years.

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