(Yicai Global) Jan. 12 — China’s economy is expected to have expanded by 8.06 percent last year, despite a marked slowdown in the fourth quarter, and should maintain good long-term growth, according to a survey of chief economists ahead of the release of gross domestic product data for 2021 next week.
GDP likely gained 4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2021 from a year earlier, according to the average forecast of 18 leading chief economists polled by Yicai Global.
First-quarter GDP surged 18.3 percent, notching up an average gain of 5 percent on the same period of 2019 and 2020, according to official data. It jumped 7.9 percent in the second quarter, a mean increase of 5.5 percent over the prior two years, and rose 4.9 percent in the third quarter, also notching up a 4.9 percent advance on 2019 and 2020.
Domestic demand was weak last year, unlike demand from overseas, said Tang Jianwei, chief researcher at Bank of Communications. Consumer spending picked up relatively slowly in 2021 and rose an average of 4.5 percent over the last two years.
The power shortages that hit small and mid-sized firms was another reason why economic growth slowed in the second half, said Luo Zhiheng, chief macro analyst at the Institute of Yuekai Securities. But thriving exports helped to somewhat offset weak demand at home.
“There is a worldwide supply-demand imbalance due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but that has helped China’s exports,” said Wang Jun, chief economist at Zhongyuan Bank. China’s production satisfies global demand and contributes to the country’s economic recovery.
China’s economic resilience is largely down to the stable growth of investment in the manufacturing sector, which increased on a quarterly basis last year, according to Wu Chaoming, chief economist at Chasing Securities. Investment rose 2 percent in the first half, 3.3 percent in the first nine months and 4.3 percent in the first eleven months.
Investment in high-tech manufacturing and the service sector surged, Wang said. There was explosive growth in the output of new-energy vehicles, industrial robots and integrated circuits, indicating a quickening pace to industrial upgrading.
Editor: Kim Taylor