SHANGHAI — China’s economic output is likely to exceed 120 trillion yuan ($17.2 trillion) this year, state media quoted a senior Chinese Communist Party official as saying on Saturday.
COVID-induced disruptions, weaker demand at home and abroad, and a property downturn have brought headwinds to the world’s second-largest economy this year.
“There is a gap between economic growth and the expected target set at the start of the year, but many other indicators were better accomplished,” Han Wenxiu, deputy head of the party’s office for financial and economic affairs, was quoted by state broadcaster CCTV as saying.
Han’s expectation that total economic output would exceed 120 trillion yuan in 2022 equates to a 4.9% expansion in gross domestic product from a year earlier, according to a Reuters calculation based on official data.
China’s economy grew just 3% in the first three quarters of the year. Many economists expect it to stay around that rate for the full year, well below the official target of “around 5.5%.”
“Judging from the deteriorating COVID situation and high-frequency data month-to-date, December may see further weakening,” analysts at Goldman Sachs said in a note on Friday.
“Given the near-term headwinds, we revised down our Q4 GDP growth forecast to -4% quarter-on-quarter … (which) pulls down our full-year projection to 2.6%.”
China will focus on stabilizing its $17-trillion economy in 2023 and step up policy adjustments to ensure targets are hit, said a statement published by the official Xinhua news agency, following an agenda-setting meeting this week, as Beijing scrambles to cushion the impact of a surge in COVID infections.
($1 = 6.9708 yuan) (Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Tom Hogue)