China's 2021 Q4 GDP Growth Skids To 1-1/2 Year Low
China's economy likely grew at the slowest pace in 1-1/2 years in the fourth quarter, dragged by weaker demand due to a property downturn, curbs on debt, and strict COVID-19 measures, raising the heat on policymakers to roll out more easing steps, Kevin Tao reported for Reuters.
Photo Insert: The Shanghai financial district
Data on Monday are expected to show gross domestic product (GDP) grew 3.6% in October-December from a year earlier - the weakest pace since the second quarter of 2020 and slowing from 4.9% in the third quarter, a Reuters poll showed.
On a quarterly basis, growth is forecast to rise to 1.1% in the fourth quarter from 0.2% in July-September. For 2021, GDP likely expanded 8.0%, which would be the highest annual growth in a decade, partly due to the low base set in 2020, when the economy was jolted by COVID-19 and stringent lockdowns.
The world's second-largest economy, which cooled over the course of last year, faces multiple headwinds in 2022, including persistent property weakness and a fresh challenge from the recent local spread of the highly-contagious Omicron variant.
Exports, which were one of the few areas of strength in 2021, are also expected to slow, while the government is seen continuing its clampdown on industrial emissions.
Policymakers have vowed to head off a sharper slowdown, ahead of a key Communist Party Congress late this year.