China's economy grew 3 percent to a record high of 121 trillion yuan (about $17.8 trillion) in 2022, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on January 17.
This marks a new and higher level in terms of economic aggregate, after the Chinese economy topped the thresholds of 100 trillion yuan and 110 trillion yuan in 2020 and 2021, respectively – maintaining its position well as the world's second-largest economy, Kang Yi, head of the NBS, told a press conference.
Kang said the 3 percent growth rate is relatively fast when compared with major economies across the world – Germany has reported a real GDP growth of 1.9 percent in 2022, and both the United States and Japan saw growth of less than two percent over the past year.
China's economy grew by 2.2 percent in 2020, making it the world's major economy to attain positive growth, and it registered an 8.4 percent growth in 2021, accounting for 18.6 percent of the world economy, Yuan Da, director of the Department of National Economy of the National Development and Reform Commission, said at a press conference on January 18.
From 2020 to 2022, China's economy posted an annual average growth of 4.5 percent, higher than the world level of around 2 percent, said Yuan, adding that the country's economy has taken the lead among major economies over recent years.
In addition, China's consumer price index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, rose 2 percent year on year in 2022, well below the government's annual target of 3 percent, according to the NBS.
The country's foreign trade of goods expanded 7.7 percent year on year to around 42.1 trillion yuan (about $6.2 trillion) over the past year.
China's industrial output went up 3.6 percent year on year in 2022, while fixed-asset investment rose 5.1 percent year on year.
A total of 12.06 million new urban jobs were created last year, exceeding the annual target of 11 million.
The Chinese people became more affluent in 2022, with per capita disposable income reaching 36,883 yuan, up 5 percent year on year in nominal terms.
So far, China has built the world's largest and most technologically advanced network infrastructure, and the industrial Internet has been widely integrated into 45 national economic categories, according to Kang.
The world bullish on Chinese economy in 2023
According to the UN World Economic Situation and Prospects 2023 report launched on Wednesday, China's economic growth will accelerate to 4.8 percent this year, compared with a 1.9 percent growth of the world output growth.
It added that the country's growth will be followed by the government adjusting its COVID policy in late 2022 and easing monetary and fiscal policies.
Alex Ampaabeng, a fiscal policy specialist who works for the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief in Ghana, said in an interview with Xinhua that the optimization of COVID-19 control policies by the Chinese government is welcome news for the global economy as it tends to increase trade volumes between the East Asian country and the rest of the world.
"After China reopened its doors to the world for things to come back to normal, then obviously, inflation caused by inadequate supply could be curtailed," he said.
Other institutions are also bullish on the country's economy. A total of 91 percent of money managers in the world believed China will "fully reopen" in 2023, with "a significant increase" from December 2022, according to a report by Forbes, citing a January survey conducted by Bank of America.
It added that the growth expectations for the country are at a 17-year high.
(With input from Xinhua; data edited by Yao Nian and Sun Yiwen; graphic by Mukesh Mohanan)
(Cover: People visit an ancient culture street to celebrate the Spring Festival in north China's Tianjin Municipality, January 22, 2023. /CFP)