One of the biggest fillips to the global economy this year will be the strong rebound in China’s economy thanks to the country adjusting its COVID-19 response after three years of stringent restrictions as well as many policies the government has rolled out to support growth in the post-pandemic era.
China’s economy is projected to expand 5.2 percent this year according to the International Monetary Fund — compared with only 3 percent last year — as mobility and economic activities pick up.
“That’s good news for China and the world as the Chinese economy is now expected to contribute a quarter of global growth this year,” the International Monetary Fund said recently.
The figure will be the highest among the world’s major economies, compared with a 1.4 percent growth forecast for the United States and 0.7 percent for the eurozone.
The consumer service sector, which was hit the hardest by the pandemic, has already experienced an accelerated recovery during the Chinese New Year holiday thanks to the releasing of pent-up demand, which augurs well for the country’s overall economic performance for the rest of the year.
More than 300 million domestic tourist trips were made during the holiday, an increase of 23.1 percent for the same period last year, and about 90 percent of the pre-pandemic level for the same period in 2019. Dine-in consumption at restaurants and eateries surged 15.4 percent year-on-year, with average restaurant spending up 10.8 percent, according to the Ministry of Commerce. Cinema box-office receipts also achieved the second-highest take on record during the holiday.
Other optimistic economic indicators include the official purchasing managers’ index for manufacturing, which rose to 50.1 in January from 47 in December; and the official non-manufacturing PMI, which jumped to 54.4 in January from 41.6 in December. Both readings marked the first expansion in four months, suggesting activity at factories as well as in the services and construction sectors is gaining growth momentum.
The faster-than-expected recovery shows the resilience of China’s economy, which benefits from the country’s first-class infrastructure, huge domestic market, and quality workforce.
With the world economy dragged down by the spillover effects from the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the global fight against inflation, the recovery of the Chinese economy is a much-needed buoyancy aid. Goldman Sachs Research said in a recent report that China’s “reopening — and the recovery of Chinese domestic demand — could raise global GDP by 1 percent by the end of 2023”.
Amid all uncertainties the world economy faces, China will continue to play the role of a global growth engine and help stabilize the global industry and supply chains.
Editorial, China Daily