China's GDP grew 3.9% in Q3, beating expectations

China’s economy beat expectations and grew by 3.9% in the third quarter of 2022 compared with a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced. The world’s second-largest economy had been predicted to grow by 3.7%, according to Chinese data provider Wind, following an expansion of only 0.4% in the second quarter. China has set its gross domestic product (GDP) growth target for 2022 at “around 5.5%”, but Premier Li Keqiang has since admitted China is likely to fall short. China had been expected to release its third-quarter economic data on October 18 during the 20th Party Congress, but the release was delayed till October 24. Before the data release, Zhao Chenxin, Deputy Director of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), said that China’s growth had “rebounded significantly” in the third quarter and remained “outstanding” when compared to the rest of the world.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank recently slashed their 2022 growth outlook for China to 3.2% and 2.8% respectively, which could be the lowest growth rates in four decades, excluding the initial coronavirus crisis in 2020. In other figures released by the NBS, industrial production grew by 6.3% in September from a year earlier, up from 4.2% growth in August. This was above the forecast by Wind, which had predicted 4.8% growth last month. Retail sales rose by 2.5% in September, year-on-year, down from 5.4% growth in August. Fixed-asset investments – which Beijing has relied heavily on this year to stem downturn risks – rose by 5.9% in the January-September period. China’s urban surveyed jobless rate rose to 5.5%, up from 5.3% in August.

The unemployment rate for the 16-24 age group fell to 17.9% in September, from 18.7% in August and a record 19.9% growth in July, the South China Morning Post reports.