China’s economy is back-ish and the world can exhale. Without this rebound, the nascent global recovery would be on even thinner ice.
The expansion reported is close to the numbers China chalked up before COVID-19 tore through national and global commerce. Gross domestic product rose 4.9 per cent in the third quarter from a year earlier. While that’s less than economists expected, it was an acceleration from 3.2 per cent in the previous three months. The contraction of 6.8 per cent between January and March, terrible as it was, is fading in the rearview mirror.
The numbers underscore projections last week from the International Monetary Fund that China will be the only major economy to advance in 2020. Absent such momentum, any prediction that the world is poised to resume growth next year would be fanciful.
The IMF’s forecast of a 5.2 per cent expansion is heavily dependent on Beijing not making mistakes and avoiding another sweeping shutdown. The brawny nature of the comeback buttresses struggling countries in China’s regional orbit; one bright spot in Singapore’s otherwise challenging economic performance is exports to the mainland.
Given all these nice numbers, is it