The Chinese economy expanded 4.9% in the July-to-September quarter compared to a year ago, according to government statistics released Monday.
This means the nation is almost out of the turmoil caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The pace was quicker than the 3.2% increase that China recorded in the second quarter, when it managed to avoid the pandemic-fueled recession that has gripped much of the globe.
But the growth was also a bit weaker than expected: Analysts polled by Refinitiv predicted that China’s economy would expand 5.2%.
“China’s economy continued its rapid rebound last quarter, with the recovery broadening out and becoming less reliant on investment-led stimulus,” wrote Julian Evans-Pritchard, senior China economist for Capital Economics, in a research note.
As much of the world continues to struggle with the virus, China’s recovery has been relatively speedy. The country enforced stringent lockdown and population tracking policies intended to contain the virus, and set aside hundreds of billions of dollars for major infrastructure projects to fuel economic growth.
The positive momentum through the last six months has also helped China’s economy recover all of the output it lost after a historically bad first quarter. GDP grew a cumulative 0.7% through the first nine months of 2020, Monday’s data showed.
“The Chinese economy remains resilient with great potential. Continued recovery is anticipated, which will benefit the global recovery,” said Yi Gang, the governor of the People’s Bank of China, on Sunday during an online seminar hosted by the Washington-based Group of Thirty. He said he expects China’s economy to grow around 2% this year.