China's 3% GDP Growth One of Its Worst in Decades

Image copyright: Bloomberg/Getty Images [via CNN]

The Facts

  • China's economy expanded well below the government target in 2022, growing by just 3% — one of the worst performances in nearly half a century — largely due to frequent COVID outbreaks and lockdowns, extreme heatwaves, and a historic downturn in the property market.

  • Beijing had set a target growth rate of 5.5% last March, but the data unveiled on Tuesday by the PRC's National Bureau of Statistics was better than the 2.8% forecast in a Reuters poll.

The Spin

Anti-China narrative

The outlook for the Chinese economy is uncertain as the property sector is weighed down by enormous corporate debt and the Chinese population has begun to shrink. It's unclear if some workers will come back to their cities of work after Lunar New Year travels. Worse yet, foreign demand has fallen due to higher interest rates which have dampened the demand for imported goods from China.

Pro-China narrative

The PRC's economy is certain to improve this year. The signs are there, showing a vast market potential that will result in growth. China has made economic stability its top priority for the new year and will pursue progress while ensuring stability. Compared with other major economies the 3% growth rate is relatively remarkable. The worsening global economic situation needs China's steady growth as a stabilizer. Clearly, the latest figures show that China is maintaining its position as the world's second-largest economy.

Metaculus Prediction

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