Econintersect: Not even the burden of the Great recession drove China's GDP growth to an annual growth as low as did the year 2012. The fourth quarter saw GDP growth pick up to an annual rate of 7.9%, higher than 7.6% for the second quarter and 7.4% for the third quarter. For the entire year 2012 GDP grew by 7.8%. The pick-up at the end of the year was driven primarily by government spending on infrastructure. This spending had been stepped up as a stimulus effort in the middle of the year.
Other data showed some improvement as industrial production was up for December by 10.3% from a year earlier and retail sales advanced by 15.2% year-over-year. Taken all together the latest numbers may indicate that China's economic "slump" may be ending. Of course, it may be a little overstated to call a slowdown to GDP growth in the 7% range a slump.
The last time that GDP growth was less than 7.9% was 7.6% in 1999. For the second year with less GDP growth you have to go back 22 years to 3.8% in 1990.
- China records slowest growth for 13 years (Jamil Anderlini and Simon Rabinovitc, Financial Times, 18 January 2013)
- China GDP Growth Continues to Slow, But Improvement may be Around the Corner GEI News, 18 October 2012)
- Historical GDP of the People's Republic of China (Wikipedia)