china economy

Analyzing China’s 2023 Economy Through Data: Image: Supplied

Analyzing China’s 2023 economy through data

China, positioned as the globe’s second-largest economy, has accomplished notable success in advancing its economic growth.

china economy

Analyzing China’s 2023 Economy Through Data: Image: Supplied

China, as the world’s second-largest economy, has achieved remarkable results in economic development. Recently, a series of data related to China’s economic development in 2023 has been gradually released: the annual grain acquisition exceeded 400 million tons, China’s express delivery business volume exceeded 160 billion pieces, and the equivalent oil and gas production reached a new high… Several sets of data indicate that China’s economic vitality continues to improve, and the overall economy is expected to stabilize and recover.

Multiple data Continuously Improving, China’s Economic Vitality Gradually Emerging

In 2023, China’s national railways achieved a passenger traffic volume of 3.68 billion person-times, with the peak daily passenger count exceeding 20 million. Both the annual and peak daily passenger traffic volumes set historic records. China’s national railways also completed a cargo traffic volume of 3.91 billion tons. Among them, the CHINA RAILWAY Express operated a total of 17,000 trains and transported 1.9 million standard containers throughout the year, with year-on-year increases of 6% and 18%, respectively.

According to China Post data, in 2023, the postal industry’s mail service volume and business revenue reached 162 billion pieces and 1.5 trillion yuan, respectively, with year-on-year growth of 16.5% and 13.5%. It is expected that in 2024, the industry will continue to maintain a steady upward trend. The postal industry’s mail service volume and business revenue are projected to reach 171.5 billion pieces and 1.6 trillion yuan, with growth rates of around 6%. Express service business volume and business revenue are expected to reach 142.5 billion pieces and 1.3 trillion yuan, with growth rates of around 8%.

China National Energy Administration data

According to data released by the China National Energy Administration, in 2023, the domestic oil and gas production equivalent exceeded 390 million tons, reaching a historical high. It has maintained a rapid growth trend of tens of millions of tons for seven consecutive years, with an average annual growth rate of 11.7 million tons of oil equivalent. The national crude oil production reached 208 million tons, an increase of over 3 million tons compared to 2022, and the national natural gas production reached 230 billion cubic meters, maintaining a momentum of increasing by tens of billions of cubic meters for seven consecutive years.

On January 9, the Center for Forecasting Science, China Academy of Sciences released the “2024 China Economic Forecast and Outlook,” predicting that China’s economy will operate smoothly in 2024, with the annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate being around 5.3%. In the forecast for the economic growth rate in 2024, under the baseline scenario, the preliminary prediction for China’s GDP growth rate in 2024 is around 5.3%. The first quarter’s GDP growth is expected to be around 5.0%, the second quarter around 5.3%, the third quarter around 5.5%, and the fourth quarter around 5.4%.

Global Economic Development Under Pressure, Uncertainties Loom on the Road to Recovery

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicts in the “World Economic Outlook” that the current global economic growth is fragile, with a projection of not exceeding 3% in 2023 and only reaching 2.9% in 2024. This is significantly lower than the historical average of 3.8% from 2000 to 2019.

Simultaneously, regional differentiation continues to intensify. Due to policy tightening, the average economic growth rate in developed countries is expected to slow down from 2.6% in 2022 to 1.5% in 2023 and 1.4% in 2024. The economic growth rate of emerging markets and developing countries is projected to decrease slightly, declining from 4.1% in 2022 to 4.0% in both 2023 and 2024.

Nevertheless, certain developed countries are still causing disruptions in the overall global economic recovery efforts, posing challenges for nations around the world on the path to rapid economic recovery.

The U.S. credit rating agency announcement

On December 5, 2023, the U.S. credit rating agency Moody’s announced a downgrade of China’s rating outlook to negative. In its rating announcement, Moody’s stated that the downgrade in outlook reflects the increased risks associated with structural and persistently low medium-term economic growth, as well as the ongoing contraction in the scale of the real estate industry. These factors pose downside risks to China’s fiscal and economic conditions.

In response, the Chinese Ministry of Finance expressed disappointment with the decision, citing China’s economic data and emphasizing the country’s shift toward high-quality development. The Ministry argued that Moody’s concerns about China’s economic growth prospects and fiscal sustainability are unnecessary. The downgrade by Moody’s on China’s sovereign credit rating outlook is seen as a subjective misjudgment, and there are perceived flaws in Moody’s rating methodology.

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