The National Bureau of Statistics of China on Tuesday announced disappointing GDP growth figures. According to official yet preliminary data, the Chinese economy grew by just 3.0 percent in 2022. The reading was the lowest annual result since modern Chinese GDP records began in the 1970s with the exception of the 2020 Covid crisis year. Yet, China was the only major world economy to post positive annual GDP growth in 2020 and last year was arguably also struggling less economically than others despite the invasion of Ukraine and domestic coronavirus lockdowns that continued into 2022 in the country.
China had set a goal of at least 6 percent GDP growth in 2021 and surpassed that when the country's economy grew by 8.4 percent that year. Just a decade ago, any result in this vicinity would have been seen as rather average, but after weak domestic demand paired with the cooling effects of the trade war with the United States had contributed to a significant GDP slowdown in the later half of the 2010s, China's economic glory days seemed far away. As U.S. tariffs persist, pandemic effects linger and the war in Ukraine poses new challenges, China is cut down to an even more modest growth outlook.
China’s economy is closely watched internationally, as many international corporations consider it a key market in reaching their own growth targets. As our chart illustrates, the Chinese GDP saw double-digit growth for large parts of the first decade in the new millennium until a wider slowdown set in around 2010.