China on Monday said its economy grew 6.3% in the second quarter of 2023 from a year ago, badly missing analysts' expectations.
The country's youth unemployment hit a new record high of 21.3% in the second quarter. This means more than one in five of those between 16 to 24 years old are unemployed.
Economists polled by Reuters expected China's GDP to grow by 7.3% during the second quarter of the year. In the first quarter, the country's economy had grown 4.5% compared to the previous year.
Despite the miss, China's statistics bureau said in its press release that its economy "showed good momentum of recovery in the first half year."
Meanwhile, China's retail sales grew 3.1% in June from a year ago — a sharp decline from the 12.7% growth in May. Industrial production grew 4.4% in June from a year ago, up from the 3.5% growth in May, the data shows.
The country's second-quarter GDP data could be masking troubles in its economy because the of the low base last year when the country was still mired in on-off COVID-19 lockdowns, Vishnu Varathan, the head of economics and strategy at Mizuho Bank, wrote in a Monday note before the data release.
Varathan added in the note that growth momentum in China has slowed.
"Once base effect distortions are backed out, China's economy remains dismal," he added.
Recent economic data printout of China has been poor — on Thursday, China's economy flashed a red flag.
The country's exports tanked 12.4% in June from a year ago, while imports fell 6.8% in the same period — missing expectations majorly, official data showed.
After an initial spurt, China's economy has struggled to recover from three years of on-off COVID-19 lockdowns, pointing to a disappointing showing for the world's second-largest economy this year.
China's economy grew 3% in 2022 and Beijing has set a 5% GDP growth target this year. Source