China: GDP inches down in Q4
January 20, 2014
GDP grew 7.7% over the same period of the previous year in Q4 2013, which was slightly below the 7.8% increase observed in Q3. Q4's increase just barely overshot the 7.6% expansion that FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists had expected. GDP expanded 7.7% in the full year 2013, which matched the result tallied in 2012, but overshot the 7.6% increase that FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists had expected.
Although the National Bureau of Statistics does not provide a breakdown of GDP by expenditure, additional data suggest that investment lost some momentum in Q4. Urban fixed-asset investment growth, which includes capital and construction investment, expanded an accumulated 19.6% in nominal terms in the full year 2013, which was down from the accumulated 20.2% rise seen in the first nine months of 2013. Conversely, nominal retail sales expanded 13.5% in Q4, which was above the 13.3% rise observed in Q3. Export growth accelerated to a 7.4% increase in Q4 (Q3: +3.9% year-on-year), whereas imports cooled down to a 7.1% rise (Q3: +8.4% yoy).
A quarter-on-quarter analysis corroborates the deceleration suggested by the annual figures as GDP rose a seasonally-adjusted 1.8% in Q4, which was below the 2.2% expansion recorded in Q3.
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect GDP to expand 7.5% in 2014, which is unchanged from last month's estimate. In 2015, the panel sees economic growth of a slightly-lower 7.4%.