Ningbo Port, one of China’s largest sea terminals. More than two million containers passed through the port in October. Photo: Xinhua

China could become the only country to achieve economic growth among all the other major economies this year as its production and consumption has been growing gradually and steadily in the fourth quarter of 2020.

The year-on-year economic growth in the fourth quarter could be higher than that of 4.9% in the third quarter, Fu Linghui, a spokesperson of the National Bureau of Statistics, said Tuesday.

China’s economy kept up a steady recovery in November, with major economic indicators such as growth in consumption and investment rallying to the best levels of the year, according to the NBS.

Retail sales grew 5% in November on a yearly basis, up from 4.3% the previous month and marking the highest level of the year, the NBS said. Fixed-asset investment rose 2.6% in the first 11 months of the year, up from 1.8% in the January-October period.

Industrial output rose by 7% year-on-year last month, versus 6.9% in October. The urban surveyed jobless rate dropped to 5.2% in November from 5.3% in October.

“We should be aware that given the resurgence of the epidemic, the world economic recovery is facing headwinds with increasing instabilities and uncertainties,” said Fu. “The domestic economic recovery is confronted with interlacing old and new issues as well as structural problems which have imposed challenges to promote the continuous economic recovery.”

Fu said China must promote high-quality development, focus on supply-side structural reform, take reform and innovation as the primary driver, accelerate the building of a new development pattern, expand effective demand, facilitate economic circulation and ensure to meet the annual targets for economic and social development.

GDP forecast

Credit rating agency Fitch Ratings has raised its forecast for China’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth to 8% next year, up from 7.7% in its previous forecast in September, said media reports.

“This would be well above our estimate of China’s long-term growth potential of around 5.5%, but is quite achievable from such a low base in 2020,” Fitch analysts Brian Coulton and Pawel Borowski wrote in its report published on Thursday.

The lastest rating follows the increased domestic consumption demand and expectations for coronavirus vaccine deployment worldwide, reported the CNBC.

China’s economy is set to expand 2.3% this year, Fitch said in its report, after a contraction of 6.8% in the first quarter due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Green revolution

The General Office of the State Council issued a document on Monday, urging related departments to implement a new concept of development and promote a green revolution in express delivery packaging.

The State Council outlined plans to strengthen the management of e-commerce and express delivery, increase supplies of green packages, foster a new mode of package recycling as well as build a corresponding system of laws, standards and policies.

By 2022, laws and regulations regarding the express delivery packaging field will be further refined, and an incentive and restraint mechanism for package management will take shape, according to the document.

And by 2025, a green concept-based system including laws, standards and policies will be established comprehensively and a long-term mechanism for management of package production, usage, recycling and disposal will be built. In addition, e-commerce will not do secondary packaging, and the number of recyclable packages will reach 10 million.

Market liquidity

China’s central bank pumped cash into the financial system through open market operations Tuesday to maintain liquidity in the market.

A total of 950 billion yuan (US$145.18 billion) was injected into the market via a medium-term lending facility (MLF), according to the People’s Bank of China, the central bank. The funds will mature in one year at an interest rate of 2.95%.

Meanwhile, the central bank injected 10 billion yuan into the market through seven-day reverse repos at an interest rate of 2.2%.

Company news

China’s bureau for regulating monopolies has fined three leading internet companies for failing to declare past acquisitions under the country’s recently drafted anti-monopoly laws.

The penalties came on the heels of increased scrutiny of China’s largest technology companies and a broader wave of antitrust efforts while preventing the disorderly expansion of capital, experts said.

The State Administration for Market Regulation announced on Monday it has fined e-commerce giant Alibaba Investment, Tencent-backed e-book site China Literature and logistics player Shenzhen Hive Box Technology 500,000 yuan each for not seeking regulatory approval before their respective buyout deals.

The administration said in a release on its website that the decisions were made after investigations into three acquisition cases, which include Alibaba’s purchase of Intime Retail, China Literature’s purchase of all shares of New Classics Media and Hive Box’s acquisition of a subsidiary of China Post.

While the acquisitions were not reported, the government said the investigations failed to establish a prospective monopoly under the law, and found no de facto elimination or restriction of competition.

The stories were compiled by Nadeem Xu and Shan Hui and first published at

Xu Yuenai

Xu Yuenai is a Beijing-based columnist specializing in international relations.