© 2024 WEMU
Serving Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County, MI
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

China's second quarter GDP figures show a faltering post-COVID economic recovery

A currency trader watches monitors at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, July 17, 2023. Asian shares were mostly lower on Monday after China reported weaker growth than forecast in the last quarter.
Ahn Young-joon
/
AP
A currency trader watches monitors at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, July 17, 2023. Asian shares were mostly lower on Monday after China reported weaker growth than forecast in the last quarter.

TAIPEI, Taiwan – China's economy grew just 0.8% in the second quarter of this year, compared to the three months prior.

The disappointing numbers come amid dropping property sales, weak exports and a stagnant retail environment. While the figures beat more pessimistic predictions from economists, the anemic figures are not enough to give China the post-COVID economic recovery it was hoping for.

"The second quarter GDP performance reflects the lingering effects of the pandemic on China's economy; a return to the pre covid growth trend will therefore take longer than expected," Yue Su, an economist with the research group Economist Intelligence Unit, wrote in a note. Economists say China needs to boost consumer spending and retail sales domestically, but those have plateaued as Chinese consumers prefer to save rather than spend.

Complicating things are high interest rates in the U.S. and Europe as the West combats inflation – causing customers there are now buying less from China. That contributed to an 8.3% drop in Chinese exports, year on year, last month.

Youth unemployment has been at historic highs at above 20% for months now, a rate comparable to that of Italy.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Emily Feng is NPR's Beijing correspondent.