BEIJING – China reported GDP growth for 2022. That beat expectations as December retail sales came in better than forecast.
GDP is expected to grow by 3% in 2022, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Tuesday. That was better than the 2.8% forecast in a Reuters poll. The GDP growth number did not miss the official target of around 5.5% set in March. In 2021, China’s growth increased to 8.4% from 2.2% growth in 2020.
Fourth-quarter GDP rose 2.9%, beating expectations for 1.8% growth from a Reuters poll.
Kang Yi, director of the National Bureau of Statistics. Described China’s 3% growth as “fast” in light of the unexpected. Situation and in contrast to Germany, the United States and Japan.
But, he said the global trade situation is not optimistic. And the world economy may face stagnation.
“Businesses still face many problems in production. and management, scientific and technological innovation is not strong enough. And people still have considerable difficulties in employment.” Kang said in Mandarin, translated by CNBC. “We still have to work harder for economic growth.”
Kang said he expected real estate not to slow growth in 2023 as much as in 2022. He also said he expects consumer prices to remain stable in 2023 and there is no basis for major increases.
Looking ahead to this year, JLL’s Bruce Pang expects support for the property market. And the ability of people to move to help retail sales recover to 8% growth in the fourth quarter.
Retail sales drop far less than expected
Retail sales fell 0.2% for the year. But retail sales fell 1.8% in December from a year earlier, below the 8.6% expected in a Reuters poll.
Among retail sales, catering will decline by 6.3% in 2022. Clothing, cosmetics and jewelry are all down for the year. Medicines were a bright spot after December sales jumped 40% from a year earlier.
Online retail sales of physical goods rose 17.2% in December from a year earlier. According to CNBC calculations of official data accessed over the air. These online sales accounted for 27.2% of total retail sales.
In 2022, the metropolis of Shanghai was locked down for two months to contain a Covid outbreak. China’s strict zero-covid policy has restricted travel and business activity across the country.
Authorities relaxed most restrictions in early December amid a surge in local infections. While more people are planning trips around the upcoming Lunar New Year. Analysts expect Chinese consumer sentiment to take months to recover.
Industrial production to grow by 3.6% in 2022. The figure rose 1.3% in December, more than the 0.2% forecast in a Reuters poll.
Fixed asset investment rose 5.1% for 2022, higher than the 5% expected by Reuters. Infrastructure investment grew faster in December than in November over the year. While investment in manufacturing slowed its growth. Real estate investment fell 10% in 2022, a steeper decline. Than the year-to-date record since November.
The unemployment rate in the cities was 5.5% as of December, while among 16- to 24-year-olds it was much higher at 16.7%.
“(The) base for domestic economic recovery is not solid. As the international situation remains complex. And critical while domestic triple pressures of demand contraction. Supply shocks and weak expectations still lurk.” The statistics bureau said in a release.
Last year, locals’ propensity to save reached a record high.
Future earnings remain uncertain. Youth unemployment hit a record high of 20% in July.
Retail sales also started to decline year over year in October.
China’s other key growth drivers have declined.
Real estate remains in the doldrums despite authorities easing financing restrictions for developers. And home buyers. Exports began to decline on a year-over-year. Basis in October – the first decline since May 2020, according to the data.
In December, both exports and imports fell, albeit less than analysts had expected. Economists expect an economic slowdown in the EU to dampen demand for Chinese goods. and the U.S.
China’s leaders are set to announce full-year. GDP growth targets at an annual parliamentary meeting in March. The gathering will be the first since Chinese. President Xi Jinping consolidated his power. at the National Congress of the Communist Party of China in October.