China’s economy experienced a mixed performance in the fourth quarter of 2023, with GDP growth coming in slightly below expectations and the resumption of reporting youth unemployment data. Key points include:

GDP Growth

  • GDP for the last three months of 2023 rose by 5.2%, missing analysts’ estimates of 5.3% in a Reuters poll.
  • GDP growth for the full year was also 5.2% .
  • The economy is more dependent on the manufacturing sector and service sector, as investment in the property sector has fallen..
Youth Unemployment

Retail Sales

  • Retail sales grew by 7.4% in December from a year ago, also missing expectations for 8% growth.

Youth Unemployment Data

  • China resumed reporting the unemployment rate for young people.
  • The unemployment rate in cities in December was 5.1%, while that for people ages 16 to 24 remained far higher at 14.9% .
  • The bureau had temporarily suspended the release of the younger age group’s unemployment rate in the summer, citing the need to reassess calculation methods.

Population Decline

  • China’s population shrunk by more than 2 million people to 1.41 billion.
  • The population had declined by 850,000 people in 2022 from 2021.

Economic Challenges

  • The key question in the market is when the transition in the property sector will finish.
  • China must effectively enhance economic vitality, prevent and mitigate risks, and improve social stability.

The fourth-quarter GDP figures and the resumption of youth unemployment data provide insights into China’s economic performance and challenges. The country’s economy grew by 5.2% in the October to December period last year, missing expectations of a 5.3% growth forecast by economists polled by Reuters. The unemployment rate for young people remains high, with the bureau resuming its reporting after temporarily suspending it in the summer. Additionally, China’s population has declined, with the country experiencing a shrinkage of more than 2 million people. These factors, along with the transition in the property sector, pose challenges for China’s economic growth and stability.

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China Misses Q4 GDP Estimates, Shifts Focus to Youth Unemployment