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China says its economy grew 4.9% in the third quarter

A pump attendant wears a mask as he refuels a car at a Sinopec gas station where customers can buy supplies as the country is hit by an outbreak of the novel coronavirus, in Beijing, China, February 28, 2020.

Thomas Peter | Reuters

BEIJING — China’s economy recovered further from the coronavirus in the third quarter, according to data released Monday by the National Bureau of Statistics.

The world’s second-largest economy reported third-quarter GDP growth on the low end of expectations, up 4.9% from a year ago. That brings growth for the first three quarters of the year to 0.7% from a year ago.

Chinese economists expected GDP growth of 5.2% in the third quarter, according to an average of estimates compiled by Wind Information, a financial information database.

“Generally speaking, the overall national economy continued the steady recovery and significant results have been delivered in coordinating epidemic prevention and development,” the bureau said in an English-language release. “However, we should also be aware that the international environment is still complicated and severe with considerable instabilities and uncertainties, and that we are under great pressure of forestalling epidemic transmissions from abroad and its resurgence at home. The economy is still in the process of recovery and the foundation for sustained recovery needs to be consolidated.”

Retail sales rose 3.3% in September, for a 0.9% increase in the third quarter. For the first nine months of the year, retail sales contracted 7.2%.

Fixed asset investment rose 0.8% in the first three quarters of the year.

The official urban surveyed unemployment rate edged lower in September to 5.4%.

Industrial production rose 6.9% in September from a year ago, bringing total growth for the first nine months of the year to 1.2%.

Official figures showed China’s gross domestic product contracted 6.8% in the first three months of the year, when more than half the country shut down temporarily in an effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

GDP grew 3.2% in the second quarter.

The International Monetary Fund expects China will be the only major world economy to grow this year, at 1.9%.

This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

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