By freshidea @Adobe Stock

Stella Yifan Xie of The Wall Street Journal is reporting a festering property-market meltdown has offset much of the post-pandemic recovery in China. In the fourth quarter, it recorded one of its slowest growth rates since 1990. She writes:

China’s economic growth rate finished at one of the lowest levels in decades last year, underscoring the heavy toll that a property-sector collapse and weak consumer confidence have taken on the world’s second-largest economy despite the lifting of all Covid-19 restrictions.

Gross domestic product in China expanded 5.2% in the fourth quarter and for the full year in 2023, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday. The reading confirmed a number uttered by Premier Li Qiang a day earlier at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland—an unusual disclosure of a high-profile data point by a senior leader before its formal release. […]

Still, the economy had pockets of strength, especially in dominating the global supply chain for renewable energy products such as solar panels and electric vehicles. Growth in industrial production rebounded to 4.6%, accelerating from a 3.6% increase the year before, Wednesday’s data show.

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