BEIJING — China’s economy rebounded at a faster-than-expected pace in the third quarter, but strict Covid curbs, a deepening property crisis and global recession risks are challenging Beijing’s efforts to foster a robust revival over the next year.
Gross domestic product (GDP) in the world’s second-biggest economy rose 3.9 percent in the July-September quarter year-on-year, official data showed on Monday, above the 3.4 percent pace forecast in a Reuters poll of analysts, and quickening from the 0.4 percent pace in the second quarter.
The data was originally scheduled for release on Oct. 18 but was delayed until after the Communist Party Congress that took place last week and saw Xi Jinping secure a precedent-breaking third leadership term and introduce a governing body stacked with loyalists.
Despite the rebound, the economy is facing challenges on multiple fronts at home and abroad. China’s zero-Covid strategy and strife in its key property sector have exacerbated the external pressure from the Ukraine crisis and a global slowdown due to interest rate increases to curb red-hot inflation.
A Reuters poll forecast China’s growth to slow to 3.2 percent in 2022, far below the official target of around 5.5 percent, marking one of the worst performances in almost half a century.
On a quarterly basis, GDP rose 3.9 percent in the third quarter, versus a forecast 3.5 percent gain and a 2.6 percent decline in the previous quarter.
Policymakers had rolled out more than 50 economic support measures since late May, seeking to bolster the economy to ease job pressures, even through they have played down the importance of hitting the growth target, which was set in March.