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Your 10-second guide to today's China GDP report

Photo: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images.

Having rattled financial markets over recent weeks, China’s economy will be back in focus today with the release of Q4 GDP along with industrial production, retail sales and urban fixed asset investment figures for December.

Here’s the state of play.

  • In the year to September China’s economy grew by 6.9%, topping expectations for an expansion of 6.8%.
  • Despite the small topside beat, the growth rate was the lowest recorded since the March quarter of 2009 – the height of the global financial crisis.
  • The nation’s tertiary sector – the largest in terms of economic output and largely services-orientated – grew at an annual pace of 8.4%, overshadowing slower growth in secondary and primary industries of 6.0% and 3.8% respectively.
  • This, on face value, reflects China’s economic transition towards growth powered by services and consumption rather than past drivers such as manufacturing, investment and trade.
  • According to a survey of 50 economists polled by Thomson Reuters, economic growth is expected to slow to 6.8% over the December quarter. Reflective of the vast disparity between opinions on how the economy is currently travelling, forecasts range from 5.3% to 7.1%.
  • Adding to suspicions that the data is flimsy, at least in certain circles, the GDP figure has a curious knack of coming in around market expectations. The past five GDP figures have either been in line with forecasts or exceeded them by 0.1%.
  • Alongside the GDP release, the NBS will also release industrial production, retail sales and urban fixed asset investment figures for December.
  • After expanding by 6.2% in the year to November, growth in industrial production is forecast to slow to 6.0%.
  • Retail sales are expected to increase by 11.3%, up from 11.2% in November, leaving the annual rate at a 12-month high if realised.
  • Annual growth in urban fixed asset investment is forecast to remain unchanged at 10.2%.

All four data releases are scheduled to drop at 1pm AEDT.

Whether you believe the figures or not, Business Insider will have full coverage as soon as the data drops.

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