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China reports third-quarter GDP grew 3.9%, beating expectations

Shipping containers are stacked at Zhangjiagang port on October 21, 2022.

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BEIJING — China reported on Monday that third-quarter gross domestic product grew 3.9% from a year ago, beating expectations.

The data was originally set for release on October 1[ads1]8, but was delayed to late October 17 without explanation. The Communist Party of China held its 20th National Congress from October 16 to October 22.

Analysts polled by Reuters before October 18 had expected China to report GDP growth of 3.4% for the third quarter.

The officially released 3.9% year-on-year growth for the third quarter marked an uptick from 0.4% in the second quarter, bringing year-to-date growth to 3%.

That is still well below the official target of around 5.5%.

Covid controls on business activity, particularly in the second quarter of the year, have weighed on growth and prompted many investment banks to cut their full-year forecasts to around 3%.

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Retail sales rose 2.5% in September from a year ago, slowing from August and missing expectations of 3.3%, according to the Reuters poll.

Urban unemployment rose to 5.5% in September. For people aged 16 to 24, it remained much higher at 17.9%.

Industrial production rose 6.3%, well above the 4.5% increase expected by Reuters.

Investments in fixed assets rose by 5.9% for the first three quarters of the year, somewhat below Reuters’ forecast of 6%.

Investment in property fell 8% during that time, more than the 7.4% year-on-year decline recorded in the first eight months of the year.

Year-to-date investment in infrastructure increased to 8.6% year-on-year growth from September, up from 8.3% in August. Production kept about the same pace.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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