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The positive results came after consumer activity picked up in September, with the data showing 3.3-percent growth in retail sales compared to a year ago. While the key sector posted the first positive quarterly growth this year, total retail sales of consumer goods were still down by 7.2 percent year-on-year. The unemployment rate also dropped to 5.4 percent in September, 0.2 percent less that it was a month earlier.
The latest figures released by China’s statistics agency show that industrial production increased by 6.9 percent in September from a year earlier after a 5.6-percent rise in August.
Strong export growth in the third quarter, spurred by global demand for medical equipment and electronics, may have helped the positive GDP results.
“Generally speaking, the overall national economy continued the steady recovery and significant results have been delivered in coordinating epidemic prevention and development,” the NBS said in a statement.
“However, we should also be aware that the international environment is still complicated and severe with considerable instabilities and uncertainties, and that we are under great pressure of forestalling epidemic transmissions from abroad and its resurgence at home,” the bureau said, noting that the recovery process is ongoing.
Despite missing economists’ forecasts for a 5.5-percent expansion, China is still the only major economy that has managed to rebound during the worst global slump since the Great Depression.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) earlier said that it expects China to be the only major economy to record annual growth this year. The IMF forecasts it to grow 1.9 percent, while global GDP is set to plunge by 4.4 percent.
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