Beijing, + 4.9% growth in the third quarter: the post-Covid recovery continues

However, the figure is lower than analysts’ forecasts (between 5.3 and 5.5%). Recovery driven by exports and tourism. Slow growth of investments and consumption. Doubts about employment data. The reopening to street vendors in Beijing suggests that the working environment is still difficult.

Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) - China’s economic recovery continues after the acute phase of the coronavirus emergency. The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), reports that the national GDP grew by 4.9% in the third quarter of the year compared to the same period of 2019.

The figure is lower than analysts’ forecasts (between 5.3 and 5.5% ); however, it represents a clear improvement compared to the collapse of the first quarter (-6.8%), the first negative contraction since the end of the Cultural Revolution in 1976, and the first signs of recovery between April and June (+ 3.2%).

Of the major global economies, the Chinese giant is the only one that is about to close 2020 with positive growth: forecasts put it at around 2%, far from the 9% average achieved in the last 20 years.

Chinese indicators are all improving; the biggest push to increase GDP came from exports, which increased by 9.9% in September compared to a year earlier.

One growth factor was domestic tourism, especially during the "Golden Week" in October. For several observers, the lower figure than forecasts is due to the limited increase in business and infrastructure investments, as well as consumption, which Xi Jinping would like to transform into the driving force of the country's new growth model.

Independent analysts often express doubts about the veracity of the figures provided by Beijing. The positive numbers on GDP partially contrast with those on unemployment, which rose to 5.4% in September from 5.6% in August (in February it had reached 6.2%). However, the figure does not consider more than 179 million migrant workers, mostly from rural areas.

A recent decision by the Beijing city authorities suggests that employment figures are still struggling to recover. In recent days, local leaders have authorized the return of street vendors as a measure to revive the economy, hit by the effects of the pandemic.

Earlier this year, before the outbreak of the global health crisis, the Chinese Communist Party launched a campaign to limit the activity of street vendors, a move that created a rift between Xi's faction and Premier Li Keqiang.