China's 2023 Economy: Growth Recovers, Real Estate Lags

China's 2023 Economy: Growth Recovers, Real Estate Lags

Jan. 21, 2024, 8:31 a.m.

Chinese economic growth in 2023 met the government's target of around 5 percent. But recovery remains lackluster following slow growth the previous year due to its strict zero-coronavirus policy. Also, a persistently sluggish real estate market and difficult employment conditions are fueling worries about an uncertain economy.

The National Bureau of Statistics announced on Wednesday that China's Gross Domestic Product grew 5.2 percent last year from 2022 in inflation-adjusted terms.

The rate of expansion is higher than the 3 percent growth of the previous year, but still relatively weak.

For the three months to December, China's GDP grew 5.2 percent year-on-year. But expansion from the previous quarter was just 1 percent, signaling a slowdown in the pace of recovery.

For the first time in six months, China's National Bureau of Statistics has released unemployment data for young people.

Key economic indicators

While corporate production is robust, consumption slowed and the real estate market remains sluggish.

The survey shows that the unemployment rate among youth aged 16 to 24 stood at 14.9 percent December 2023. That's down from a record high of 21.3 percent in June.

Though students had been included before, the new data leaves them out. The bureau said this was because it's impossible to accurately reflect the employment situation of young people actively looking for jobs if students are part of the data.

Industrial production in December rose 6.8 percent from the same month in 2022 due to a surge in auto production amid growing demand for electric cars, surpassing November's 6.6 percent rise.

On a yearly basis, it expanded by 4.6 percent from 2022.

While corporate production is robust, consumption slowed and the real estate market remains sluggish.

Industrial production in December rose 6.8 percent from the same month in 2022 due to a surge in auto production amid growing demand for electric cars, surpassing November's 6.6 percent rise.

On a yearly basis, it expanded by 4.6 percent from 2022.

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