China reported 3.9% third-quarter GDP growth, beating expectations

Shipping containers are piled up in Zhangjiagang Port on October 21, 2022.

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China reported on Monday that third-quarter gross domestic product grew 3.9% from a year ago, beating expectations.

The data was originally scheduled to be released on October 18, but was delayed as late as October 17 without explanation. The Communist Party of China held its 20th National Congress from October 16 to October 22.

Analysts polled by Reuters before Oct. 18 had expected China to report 3.4% GDP growth in the third quarter.

The officially released 3.9% annual growth for the third quarter recorded a rebound from 0.4% in the second quarter, taking the annual growth rate to 3%.

This is still well below the official target of around 5.5%.

Covid controls on business activity, especially in the second quarter of the year, affected growth and prompted several investment banks to lower their full-year forecasts to around 3%.

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Retail sales grew 2.5% in September from a year ago, slowing from August and missing expectations of 3.3% according to a Reuters poll.

The urban unemployment rate rose to 5.5% in September. The proportion of 16-24-year-olds remained significantly higher at 17.9%.

Industrial production rose 6.3%, well above the 4.5% increase expected by Reuters.

Fixed-asset investment rose 5.9% in the first three quarters of the year, just below a Reuters forecast of 6%.

Investment in real estate fell 8% during that period, which is more than the 7.4% annual decline recorded during the first eight months of the year.

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Infrastructure investment accelerated YTD 8.6% year over year as of September, from 8.3% as of August. It continued to manufacture at the same pace.

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