China’s economic growth in 2020 stood at 2.3%, a substantial increase in the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic it fought during the last year.
China is probably the only major country in the world that has shown a positive growth in its economy, with businesses opening up during a time when most western nations have started to re-inforce rules to combat another wave of COVID-19 spread.
As the virus spread in early days of 2020, the first quarter saw the Chinese economy shrink by nearly 7% as government enforced lockdown caused majority of its economy to come to a standstill. The aggressive stance allowed the government to quickly clamp down on the spread and resultantly industries opened up much sooner than expected, leading to the growth rate turning towards the positive side, 3.2% in the second quarter.
The third quarter even brought in more expansion, running a slice under 5%, with the last quarter to touch 6.5%, much better than even the optimistic forecasts.
The overall 2020 growth stood at 2.3%. Even though China has fared better than many countries, last year’s growth has been its weakest in the last few decades, even below its 3.9% growth in 1990. The growth shows a very positive future, but it is still early to say that will this rate of improvement go into 2021. Most of the boost is from a global demand of masks and other protective equipment, with the nation’s industry perhaps the only large enough to cater to it.
There is uncertainty on how President-elect Joe R. Biden will handle the freezing political situation with China. The Trump administration had created a lot of rift as it increased tariffs in a trade war. Anti-Chinese moves also included restricting the sales of telecom giant Huawei’s equipment.
China is not out of hot waters as of yet. The Chinese New Year Holiday is coming up next month, which typically sees large volumes of public using public transport as trains and busses are packed with people. Authorities are urging public to avoid travelling during this holiday to reduce chances of the virus resurfacing.