China’s latest economic data reflected a mixed recovery in the third quarter of 2022, with the country’s GDP growth picking up but unemployment increasing and home prices declining.  

According to Bloomberg, citing China’s official data statistics bureau, the country’s gross domestic product rose 3.9% year on year in the July-to-September period, rebounding from a near-zero increase in the last quarter of 0.4%.  

The official number was above the median forecast of 3.3% from the Bloomberg economists’ survey.

Even though the data shows GDP growth, it is still far below the official target of 5.5% as the country faces multiple challenges. 

The data was released on Monday, October 24, after the National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) concluded a day earlier as Xi Jinping consolidated his power by securing a third term.

The data was delayed from last Tuesday in the middle of CCP’s 20th National Congress. Experts said the data was postponed to avoid disruption during a sensitive political event. 

September’s key economic indicators also showed that unemployment increased to 5.5% after four months of decline. Retail sales growth slowed to 2.5%, down from a 5.4% increase in August.

The property market is still in trouble as the sector contracted for the fifth quarter in a row, extending its longest streak decline in history. Housing prices dropped for a thirteenth consecutive month in September. 

Despite the better-than-expected GDP, China’s stocks and currency tumbled to the lowest level since the 2008 financial crisis in Hong Kong as investors were concerned that Xi kept the zero-Covid policy and his “common prosperity” drive in place.

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