Graphics: China's GDP growth relatively fast compared to other major economies
China's GDP growth has been relatively fast when compared to that of other major economies over the past three years, as the average growth rate between 2020 and 2022 was 4.5 percent, higher than the global economy's three-year average of 1.8 percent.
The U.S., Euro area, France and Germany saw GDP grow at 1.6 percent, 0.7 percent, 0.3 percent, 0.2 percent, respectively, on average over the three years. Both Japan and the UK registered a negative growth rate at -0.3 percent on a three-year average.
In 2020, China was the only major economy to achieve positive growth. In 2021, its GDP contributed over 30 percent to world economic growth. In 2022, the economy remained the second largest in the world.
China's 3-percent growth in 2022 was relatively fast in light of unexpected situations and in contrast to major economies such as the U.S., Germany and Japan, Director of China's National Bureau of Statistics Kang Yi said at a press conference on January 17.
"The international situation is complex and severe, the risk of stagflation in the world economy is rising, and the foundation of the domestic economic recovery is not solid yet, but the Chinese economy remains resilient with great potential and vitality…in 2023, China's economy will improve as a whole," said Kang.
Chinese policymakers have vowed to prioritize economic growth in 2023, underpinning consumption and investment to strongly boost market confidence, according to the Central Economic Work Conference held in mid-December.
Since the Spring Festival holiday, pent-up demand has been released "as many people flocked to scenic spots, watched firework shows and crowded into restaurants and hotels," Lu Ting, chief China economist at Nomura, wrote in an email note on Saturday.
During the holiday, more than 300 million domestic trips were made, nearly 90 percent of pre-pandemic levels, and tourism revenue reached 375.8 billion yuan (about $55.4 billion), up nearly 30 percent year on year, according to the Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
A Reuters poll forecast China's growth would rebound to 4.9 percent this year, with most economists expecting growth to pick up from the second quarter. Meanwhile, economists expect 4.8-percent growth in a Bloomberg survey.