China's economy is only growing by 4.9 percent

Beijing (dpa) – The upswing in the Chinese economy is clearly losing momentum. As the Beijing statistics office announced, the second largest economy grew by only 4.9 percent in the third quarter compared to the previous year.

After a record growth of 18, 3 percent in the first and 7.9 percent in the second quarter, it is the weakest value so far this year. In the period from January to September, the total growth was 9.8 percent.

Energy shortage in China

After having overcome the corona pandemic, China’s economy initially recovered strongly. Most recently, however, economists warned of a whole series of negative factors that could have a negative impact on the Chinese economy and thus also on the business of German companies locally. The country’s energy shortage, for example, was named as a risk, forcing industrial companies to cut back on their production in the past few weeks.

global supply chains and raw material shortages challenged », commented Jens Hildebrandt, executive board member of the German Chamber of Commerce in China (AHK), on the growth data. This makes it more difficult for German companies to make a prediction about future business developments.

A spokesman for the Beijing Statistics Bureau tried to dispel concerns about the economic consequences of the energy crisis. The authorities have taken measures to ensure the electricity supply and to keep electricity prices stable. As these measures gradually take effect, electricity shortages will be eased and their impact on economic operations will be mitigated, Fu Linghui said, according to the state-run Xinhua News Agency.

European companies operating in China are also increasingly suffering from rationing and the consequent shutdowns of businesses. The problems are likely to worsen with the upcoming winter heating season and last “at least until March”, warned the chairman of the EU Chamber of Commerce in China, Jörg Wuttke. “We’re in a marathon, not a sprint.” EU companies complained about “chaotic conditions”. Often they are only informed at short notice, such as the evening before or an hour before the start of the shift, that the power will be switched off.

Concern about Evergrande

Analysts also worried Crisis surrounding the heavily indebted Chinese real estate company Evergrande, which is weighing on the Chinese financial and real estate market. In addition, this year the government enforced stricter rules and bans on Internet companies and in numerous other industries, which further worsened the mood in the economy.

Evergrande has amassed a mountain of debt of more than 300 billion US dollars (a good 255 billion euros) and is therefore the most heavily indebted in the world Real estate company. The liquidity crisis has recently intensified after the company was unable to settle several interest payments that were due on bonds in the past week.

Other economic data presented on Monday were mixed. Industrial production, a measure of activity in the manufacturing sector, increased by 3.1 percent in September year-on-year. In August, growth was still 5.3 percent. Retail sales rose 4.4 percent after increasing 2.5 percent year over year in August.

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