launch of fourth quarter, full-year 2020 GDP

Employees working on a dry-type transformer production line at a power generation factory in Haian, east China’s Jiangsu Province, Jan. 4, 2021.

Stringer | AFP | Getty Images

BEIJING – China will release official GDP figures for 2020 on Monday, a year the world battled to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

Economists expect China to be the only major economy last year that grew gross domestic product by just over 2%.

Covid-19 first appeared in the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of 2019. To control the virus, Chinese authorities closed more than half the country and the economy contracted 6.8% in the first three months of 2020.

However, China returned to growth in the second quarter. Economists polled by Reuters forecast GDP to grow 6.1% in the fourth quarter, faster than the 4.9% pace in the previous quarter.

China’s GDP growth this year is expected to come from a lower base.

In late December, the National Bureau of Statistics cut China’s official growth rate for 2019 to 6.0% from the 6.1% previously reported. The cut came mostly in manufacturing as factories dealt with new US tariffs on Chinese goods valued at billions of dollars.

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