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China GDP disappoints, third-quarter growth slows to 4.9%

Aerial view of coal being unloaded from a cargo ship at Lianyungang port on Oct. 14, 2021 in Lianyungang, Jiangsu Province of China.

Wang Jianmin | Visual China Group | Getty Images

BEIJING — China’s third-quarter GDP grew a disappointing 4.9% as industrial activity rose less than expected in September.

The National Bureau of Statistics said Monday that gross domestic product grew 4.9% in the third quarter from a year ago. That missed expectations for a 5.2% expansion, according to analysts polled by Reuters.

Industrial production rose by 3.1% in September, below the 4.5% expected by Reuters.

“Since entering the third quarter, domestic and overseas risks and challenges have increased,” Fu Linghui, spokesperson for the National Bureau of Statistics, said at a press conference Monday in Mandarin, according to a CNBC translation.

The power shortage had a “certain impact” on normal production, Fu said, but he added that the economic impact “is controllable.”

However, retail sales beat expectations, rising 4.4% in September from a year ago. The Reuters poll predicted 3.3% growth.

Fixed asset investment for the first three quarters of the year came in weaker than expected, up 7.3% from a year ago versus the expected 7.9% figure, data from the national bureau showed.

The urban unemployment rate in September was 4.9%. However, that for those aged 16 to 24 remained far higher, at 14.6%.

“On the regulation side, we think the authorities will better manage the pace and intensity of the regulatory campaign in order to complete major economic and social development targets set for this year and the next 5-10 years,” he said. “Officials can better communicate with the market about the motives behind the regulatory push and telegraph future regulatory hotspots, in our view.”

— CNBC’s Yen Nee Lee contributed to this report.

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