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China year-on-year growth in December quarter the fastest in two years amid Australia trade war

China is growing at a faster pace than it did before the Covid pandemic despite a new series of lockdowns – and the trade war with Australia is hardly biting.

Australia’s biggest trading partner grew by 6.5 per cent in the December quarter, compared with the same three-month period in late 2019.

This was the strongest year-on-year increase in two years.

CommSec senior economist Ryan Felsman said China, the world’s second biggest economy, had avoided sinking into recession – a rare feat last year.

‘China’s V-shaped economic recovery is complete with economic growth at pre-pandemic levels in the December quarter,’ he said.

China, Australia's biggest trading partner, grew by 6.5 per cent in the December quarter, compared with the same three-month period in late 2019. This was the strongest year-on-year increase in two years. Pictured are shoppers in Beijing on January 16, 2020

China, Australia's biggest trading partner, grew by 6.5 per cent in the December quarter, compared with the same three-month period in late 2019. This was the strongest year-on-year increase in two years. Pictured are shoppers in Beijing on January 16, 2020

China, Australia’s biggest trading partner, grew by 6.5 per cent in the December quarter, compared with the same three-month period in late 2019. This was the strongest year-on-year increase in two years. Pictured are shoppers in Beijing on January 16, 2020

The Chinese government’s National Bureau of Statistics predictably gave the credit to its authoritarian President Xi Jinping.

‘Under the strong leadership of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core, all regions and departments adhered to the general working guideline of making progress,’ it said.

Nonetheless, China’s economic growth pace in calendar 2020, of just 2.3 per cent compared with 2019, was the weakest since 1976, the year Communist revolutionary Mao Zedong died.

Despite containing an earlier outbreak in Wuhan, 20million Chinese residents are still in lockdown with outbreaks in the Hebei, Heilongjiang and Shannxi provinces and the autonomous region of Guangxi. 

Oxford Economics lead economist Tommy Wu said the economic risk was low to Chinese economic growth during the first quarter of 2021.

‘Following new restrictions announced due to Covid-19 outbreaks in two provinces, it is possible that reduced confidence and travel during the Chinese New Year holidays hamper Q1 growth,’ he said.

The Chinese government's National Bureau of Statistics predictably gave the credit to its authoritarian President Xi Jinping

The Chinese government's National Bureau of Statistics predictably gave the credit to its authoritarian President Xi Jinping

The Chinese government’s National Bureau of Statistics predictably gave the credit to its authoritarian President Xi Jinping

‘But for now, we think that the risk of major economic impact is low, given China’s track record in containing Covid.’

China’s trade war against Australia’s wine, barley, coal, timber, beef, lobster and lamb producers appeared to have done little to dent its imports of Australian goods in 2020, with iron ore still needed to make steel.

China’s appetite for imports from Australia fell by 4.9 per cent in November, on a year-on-year basis by value, the General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China revealed on Friday. 

That number was only slightly steeper than the 4.7 per cent fall in demand for imports from New Zealand and significantly less than the 18 per cent plunge in imports from the UK and the 22.2 per cent plummet in imports from Canada.

This occurred despite 80 per cent tariffs imposed on Australian barley in May and 212 per cent import taxes levied on Australian wine in November. 

China's trade war with Australia is hardly biting with import volumes from Australia in the year to November down by 4.9 per cent, compared with an 18 per cent plunge in UK imports and a 22.2 per cent plummet in Canadian imports. Pictured are Australian wines in Shanghai

China's trade war with Australia is hardly biting with import volumes from Australia in the year to November down by 4.9 per cent, compared with an 18 per cent plunge in UK imports and a 22.2 per cent plummet in Canadian imports. Pictured are Australian wines in Shanghai

China’s trade war with Australia is hardly biting with import volumes from Australia in the year to November down by 4.9 per cent, compared with an 18 per cent plunge in UK imports and a 22.2 per cent plummet in Canadian imports. Pictured are Australian wines in Shanghai

Source: Daily Mail Australia | World News

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