China’s economy shows resilient growth in H1 amidst global challenges

Buildings in Beijing, China

China’s economy demonstrated remarkable resilience in the first half of 2023, posting steady growth and a notable rebound, despite the complexities of the international environment. According to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), China’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) expanded by 5.5 percent year-on-year in H1 2023, reaching 59.3 trillion yuan ($8.3 trillion).

In the second quarter of 2023, the economy surged by 6.3 percent compared to the same period the previous year, a significant increase from the 4.5 percent growth seen in Q1 2023. Furthermore, on a quarter-on-quarter basis, China’s GDP registered a 0.8 percent increase in Q2 2023, as reported by the NBS.

The manufacturing, mining, and utilities sectors, as measured by China’s value-added industrial output, witnessed a growth of 4.4 percent in June, surpassing the 3.5 percent rise recorded in May. Throughout the first half of the year, value-added industrial output rose by 3.8 percent compared to the same period in 2022, with a growth of 3 percent in the first quarter.

While consumer spending exhibited a slight slowdown, retail sales remained a crucial indicator of economic activity. In June 2023, retail sales grew by 3.1 percent year-on-year, a decline from the impressive 12.7 percent growth seen in May. Nevertheless, in the first half of 2023, retail sales surged by 8.2 percent compared to H1 2022, and in the first quarter, they recorded a solid growth of 5.8 percent year-on-year.

Fixed-asset investment, which includes expenditures on infrastructure, property, machinery, and equipment, exhibited steady growth as well. In the January-June period, fixed-asset investment increased by 3.8 percent year-on-year, while in the January-May period, it registered a 4 percent jump compared to the previous year.

The surveyed urban jobless rate remained stable at 5.2 percent in June, the same as the previous month, according to the NBS.

Despite the encouraging economic rebound, the NBS issued a cautionary note, highlighting the pressures stemming from a complicated international environment. The foundation for the economic recovery is deemed not yet fully solid. To ensure sustainable growth, the NBS emphasized the need for continued efforts in promoting high-quality economic expansion, deepening reforms, opening-up, and accelerating the modernization of the industrial system.

According to experts, China can solidify its economic footing and navigate the challenges ahead with resilience and determination through improving the economic structure and harnessing new growth momentum.

This publication is part of China Insights by Media Scope Group, a source of reliable information on China, its economy, society and culture. Explore more insights or get in touch with our experts to get more detailed information.

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