Oct 18, 2021 - Economy & Business

China's economic growth slows

A worker assembles heavy truck engines at sinotruk Hangzhou Engine Company's production workshop in Xiaoshan Robot Town in Hangzhou, East China's Zhejiang Province, Oct. 18, 2021.
A worker assembles heavy truck engines in Hangzhou in eastern China's Zhejiang Province on Monday. Photo: Long We/Costfoto/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

China's economy grew 4.9% in the third quarter of 2021 compared with a year earlier, the country's National Bureau of Statistics announced Monday.

Why it matters: The gross domestic product growth in the July-September period in the world’s second-largest economy marked the "weakest pace since the third quarter of 2020 and slowing from 7.9% in the second quarter," Reuters notes.

  • "September industrial output rose 3.1% from a year earlier, missing expectations, down from August's 5.3%, and marking the slowest growth since March 2020, during the first wave of the pandemic," Reuters added.

Driving the news: Contributing factors include computer chip shortages, power cuts at steel mills and a construction slowdown during the pandemic, as signs of stress pile up in China’s real estate development sector, per the New York Times.

  • "Growth is under pressure from government controls aimed at making the energy-hungry economy more efficient and at reducing reliance on debt that Chinese leaders worry is dangerously high and could cause financial problems," according to AP.

What they're saying: National Bureau of Statistics spokesperson Fu Linghui warned "the current international environment uncertainties are mounting, and the domestic economic recovery is still unstable and uneven," per an NYT translation.

Flashback: China ended 2020 as the only major country to see its economy grow rather than shrink during the pandemic.

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