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China’s Economy Grew 5.3% In The First Quarter

China’s economy grew at a faster-than-expected rate of 5.3% in this year’s first quarter, according to data from the country’s National Bureau of Statistics.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rose faster than the 4.6% annualized expansion that was expected among economists surveyed by the Reuters news agency.

On a quarter-over-quarter basis, China’s economy grew 1.6% in the first quarter, compared to a revised fourth quarter 2023 expansion of 1.2%.

China’s government in Beijing has set a growth target of 5% for all of 2024.

Growth in Q1 was driven by external demand, as export volumes grew 14% year-over-year.

Industrial output in March grew 4.5% from a year earlier, below expectations of 6%. Retail sales grew 3.1% year-over-year, lower than expectations of 4.6% growth.

Unemployment in major cities across China declined to 5.2%, snapping a three-month streak of increases.

China’s struggling real estate sector continued to show weakness during Q1, with property investments dropping 9.5% from a year ago during the first quarter.

Following the data release, China’s yuan currency strengthened slightly, before retreating from its five-month high to trade at 7.2724 against the U.S. dollar.