China’s economy has begun to show weak signs of recovery in the past three months after stalling earlier this year, according to data released Monday after Six days delay During the National Congress of the Communist Party.
The country’s economic output was 3.9 percent higher from July to September than in the same months last year. The modest recovery in activity exceeded expectations of Western economists, who estimated growth at just over 3 percent.
However, the combination of growth was not entirely what China’s leaders sought. While consumer spending began to recover after Shanghai Covid shutdown in April and MayChina has remained highly dependent on state-led and debt-fueled construction of roads, bridges, railways, and other infrastructure.
The pace of China’s economic recovery partly reflects the ruling Communist Party’s efforts to expand its influence over the economy and society. Xi Jinping, China’s supreme leader, consolidated his power over the weekend by expelling rivals. Among them was the current Prime Minister, Li Keqiang, who called an emergency meeting of more than 100,000 officials in May Sounding the alarm about the need for economic growth.
In return, Mr. Xi, the party leader, has given a premium on social stability and national security, often through actions that have also had the effect of slowing economic growth and employment. In a speech at the opening of the Party Congress about a week ago, Mr. Xi mentioned security six times as often as the economy.
“We have implemented the comprehensive national security concept, and safeguarded national sovereignty, security and development interests with strong will and quality,” he said.
On Monday, stock prices fell more than 4 percent in early trading in Hong Kong and nearly 2 percent in mainland China stock exchanges. Mr. Xi has pushed to see “shared prosperity,” a vaguely defined drive to redistribute wealth that has alarmed investors.
During the conference, Mr. Shi spoke about making sure that income accrues to those who work to earn it – an implicit rebuke to those who make a living through trade or investing.
Under Mr. Xi, regulators have imposed restrictions on the tech sector, which has contributed to widespread layoffs among young employees. Dozens of the country’s private property developers defaulted on debt after Beijing thwarted property speculation. emperors fled the country. The closure of municipalities to stem the outbreak of Covid-19 has taken a heavy toll.
Yiling Tan, a political science professor at the University of Oregon, said Mr. Xi appears more concerned with stability than growth. “Economic growth has been embedded within a broader narrative of national strength and security,” she said.
The release of economic data came as a surprise after being withheld without explanation last week. It is rare for any major economy to delay the release of such an important economic report.
Better-than-expected data indicated that the government’s motive in delaying the release was to avoid having any news last week that might distract from party conference. Economists said the move has weakened international confidence in the reliability of China’s economic data.
“Dark clouds of political uncertainty will undermine official Chinese statistics for years to come,” said Stephen S. Roach, an economist at Yale University.
The National Statistics Office did not hold its regular quarterly press conference to discuss the country’s economic performance, which usually accompanies its data. Also, the release of the statistics agency’s data was not accompanied by the usual set of written notes from an agency spokesperson to provide the government’s interpretation of the data.
Also Monday morning, the General Administration of Customs of China released its trade data for September, which was delayed by 10 days. These data showed continued strength in exports and a sharp expansion in the trade surplus as imports were little changed.
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