China reports 5.2% GDP growth for 2023

By Ouyang Shijia | | Updated: 2024-01-17 10:01
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China's gross domestic product expanded by 5.2 percent in 2023 - meeting the country's preset annual growth target of around 5 percent, fueled by a slew of policy measures taking effect gradually last year, official data showed on Wednesday.

The country's annual GDP came in at 126.06 trillion yuan ($17.52 trillion) in 2023, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. For the fourth quarter of 2023, the Chinese economy grew 5.2 percent year-on-year, following a 4.9 percent growth in the third quarter. 

Experts called China's 2023 GDP growth as "relatively fast" in contrast to other major economies, highlighting China's role as a key growth engine for the world economy.

Looking ahead to this year, they expect to see better economic performance with China's existing supportive policies continuing to take effect and more stimulus in the offing.

China's value-added industrial output grew by 4.6 percent year-on-year in 2023. The figure rose by 6.8 percent in December after a 6.6 percent growth in November. 

Retail sales, a key measurement of consumer spending, grew by 7.2 percent for the year. And the retail sales in December increased by 7.4 percent versus the 10.1 percent growth a month earlier. 

Fixed-asset investment - a gauge of expenditures on items including infrastructure, property, machinery and equipment – rose by 3 percent in 2023, while in the first 11 months, it grew by 2.9 percent. 

The surveyed urban jobless rate came in at 5.1 percent in December from 5 percent in November, according to the NBS. 

Zou Yunhan, deputy director of the macroeconomic research office at the State Information Center's Department of Economic Forecasting, said China remains one of the most powerful engines for global growth, contributing around one-third of world economic growth in 2023.

Looking to this year, she said the momentum of China's economic recovery is poised to undergo further consolidation, propelled by robust policy support, the advancement of industrial transformation and upgrading, and the continuous deepening of reforms.

Wang Yiming, vice-chairman of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, said China's 2023 GDP is significantly higher than that of major economies, including the United States, the eurozone and Japan.

Looking ahead, he said the country still has scope to step up fiscal and monetary policy support this year, as the central government's debt level is not high and consumer price levels are low.

According to a report by the Center for Forecasting Science at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, China's economy will maintain steady growth in 2024 with an estimated GDP growth rate of around 5.3 percent.

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