Powered by an early and severely enforced spate of lockdowns, nationwide test-and-trace campaigns, and a huge domestic market that has finally started to deliver a rebound in consumption, China’s economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic continued in the third quarter – albeit at a slower pace than economists had expected.

The economy expanded by 4.9 per cent between July and September, compared with a year earlier, driven by an uptick in the services sector and consistent strength in trade and industry.

Monday’s figures provide the final comprehensive snapshot of the Chinese economy ahead of the fifth plenum of the 19th Party Congress later this month, when hundreds of Central Committee members of the ruling Communist Party will endorse the country’s 14th five-year plan for 2021-25. In this regard, the strong growth momentum will be viewed as politically significant.

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