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China to publish Q1 GDP data

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China to publish Q1 GDP data

REUTERS/Florence Lo/File Photo

The Chinese government is due to release GDP growth data for the first quarter of 2024 today.

China’s economy is expected to have grown by only 4.6% year-on-year. If true, it would mark a significant decrease since last quarter’s 5.2% and the lowest rate in a year. China’s government has set an annual growth target of 5% for 2024. This will be a challenge, given China’s ongoing economic slump. Economists are currently expecting only around 4.6% GDP growth for the whole of 2024 and 4.4% for 2025. The IMF expects China’s growth to further decrease to 3.5% by 2028.

Beijing is pushing hard to spur the country’s economy, with some initial success. In the first two months of 2024, exports rose by 7.1% year-on-year, and in March, manufacturing output grew at its fastest pace in over a year. Much of this growth in exports came from developing markets, including India, Latin America, Africa, and Russia. The government gives particular emphasis to China’s green tech sector, including the “new three”—solar panels, electric vehicles, and batteries.

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The US and Europe are focused, however, on global overcapacity. It was US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s biggest concern on her visit to China last week. The European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen echoed this concern and confirmed that the EU could consider imposing tariffs on Chinese goods. Despite China’s success in growing trade with the developing world, whether it can reach the 5% growth target this year will largely depend on maintaining positive trade relations with the West.

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