FAST FIVE: China Reports Stronger Than Expected GDP, Is Only Major Economy To Grow In 2020
The GDP figures, which beat expectations, came days after China recorded its highest-ever monthly trade surplus in December, stoked by three consecutive months of double-digit exports growth.
Already the top exporter, the value of China's goods shipments increased 3.6% in 2020, according to official data. Imports declined 1.1%, resulting in a $535 billion annual trade surplus, the highest since 2015.
At a December meeting to lay out economic goals for 2021, the ruling Communist Party signaled that stimulus would be gradually withdrawn, although it would avoid any “sharp turns” in policy.
The country's mandated return to growth last year attracted strong appetite from foreign investors, who injected about 1 trillion yuan ($154bn) into Chinese stocks and bonds in 2020.
As with anything China related, there is always the question how manipulated this “data” is: in China, where new cases of Covid-19 slowed to a trickle in the middle of 2020, but a recent outbreak in the northern province of Hebei has prompted a renewed wave of social restrictions and lockdowns.