China misses fourth quarter GDP estimates and continues to release youth

China misses fourth-quarter GDP estimates and continues to release youth unemployment data –

Full-year GDP growth was also 5.2%.

“As investment in the real estate sector declines, the economy is more dependent on the manufacturing and services sectors,” Zhiwei Zhang, president and chief economist at Pinpoint Asset Management, said in a note.

“This transition will take time. The key question in the market is when the transition in the real estate sector will be complete.”

Excluding those still in school, the unemployment rate for young people aged 16 to 24 was 14.9%, while the urban rate was 5.1% in December.

The office temporarily suspended publication of the unemployment rate for the younger age group in the summer, citing the need to reassess the calculation methods. This unemployment rate had previously risen to record levels of over 20%.

Retail sales rose 7.4% year-on-year in December, falling short of expectations for 8% growth.

Industrial production rose 6.8% year-on-year in December, beating forecasts for 6.6% growth.

Fixed investment rose 3% in 2023, slightly above the forecast increase of 2.9%.

In terms of fixed investment, real estate fell by 9.6% in 2023. Investment in infrastructure increased by 5.9%, while investment in manufacturing increased by 6.5%.

Online retail sales of physical goods rose 8.4% and accounted for nearly 28% of total retail sales.

The statistics office also said that retail sales in the services sector increased by 20% in 2023 compared to the previous year.

In December, retail sales of jewelry rose 29% and clothing and footwear rose 26%.

Sales of everyday goods, medicines, cultural and office supplies and building materials fell in December.

China abruptly ended its Covid-19 controls in December 2022 and people rushed to buy medicines that month amid the widespread disease.

The statistics bureau said China's population shrank by more than 2 million people to 1.41 billion in 2023 from the previous year. The population fell by 850,000 people in 2022 compared to 2021.

“We must effectively enhance economic vitality, prevent and mitigate risks, improve social expectations, consolidate and enhance the solid momentum of economic recovery and growth, so as to effectively improve the quality of the national economy and appropriately increase the quantity,” it said office said.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.