City skyline in China

China GDP

China GDP

Economic Growth in China

China's GDP growth from 2013-2022, although slower compared to previous decades, remained robust, consistently outpacing other major economies. This period saw a deliberate shift from export-led growth to a greater focus on domestic consumption and services, against a backdrop of trade tensions and environmental challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted this trajectory however, and the economy has struggled to gain momentum since.

China's economy recorded an average growth rate of 6.2% in the decade to 2022. In 2022, real GDP growth was 3.0%. For more GDP information, visit our dedicated page.

China GDP Chart

Note: This chart displays Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %) for China from 2017 to 2016.
Source: National Bureau of Statistics China.

China GDP Data

2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Economic Growth (GDP, ann. var. %) 6.7 6.0 2.2 8.4 3.0
GDP (USD bn) 13,896 14,277 14,689 17,816 17,895
GDP (CNY bn) 91,928 98,652 101,357 114,924 120,472
Economic Growth (Nominal GDP, ann. var. %) 10.5 7.3 2.7 13.4 4.8

Economy records quickest expansion since Q2 2023 in the first quarter

GDP growth picked up to 5.3% year on year in the first quarter of 2024, above the 5.2% in the fourth quarter of last year and overshooting market expectations. Q1's reading marked the strongest expansion since Q2 2023. On a seasonally-adjusted quarter-on-quarter basis, economic growth gathered traction, rising to 1.6% in Q1, compared to the previous quarter's 1.2% increase. Less positively, indicators relating to the crucial property sector—such as floor space under construction, real estate investment and housing sales—remained deeply negative throughout Q1.

The services sector grew 5.0% annually in the first quarter, decelerating somewhat from the fourth quarter's 5.3% increase. Meanwhile, the industrial sector gained steam, growing 6.0% in Q1 (Q4: +5.5% yoy). Agricultural sector growth fell to 3.3% in Q1, marking the worst result since Q1 2020 (Q4 2023: +4.2% yoy). Data for March suggested a somewhat disappointing end to the quarter, with the year-on-year expansions in retail sales and industrial production coming in below market expectations.

Our panelists expect year-on-year GDP growth to slow from its Q1 level in Q2, and over 2024 as a whole the economy is seen slightly undershooting the government’s target of an “around 5%” expansion.

On the latest reading, DBS analysts said: “We have upgraded our 2024 GDP growth forecast […] Outbound shipments have proven resilient due to continued robust demand from the US, aided by a weaker Chinese yuan. The upswing of the global tech product cycle was another big driver of the export recovery. Domestically, infrastructure and manufacturing investment accelerated thanks to proactive state initiatives, counteracting pressures from slowing property investment.” On the prospect of further stimulus measures, UBS analysts said: “We think the property market may not have bottomed and need additional measures to help it stabilize. However, those may only be triggered by worse economic data later and/or a more damaging credit event. Currently, with the stronger-than-expected Q1 growth, we think the authorities may be reluctant to roll out any additional supportive macro policies.”

Consensus Forecasts and Projections for the next ten years

How should you choose a forecaster if some are too optimistic while others are too pessimistic? FocusEconomics collects Chinese GDP projections for the next ten years from a panel of 61 analysts at the leading national, regional and global forecast institutions. These projections are then validated by our in-house team of economists and data analysts and averaged to provide one Consensus Forecast you can rely on for each indicator. By averaging all forecasts, upside and downside forecasting errors tend to cancel each other out, leading to the most reliable GDP forecast available for Chinese GDP.

Download one of our sample reports to visualize what a Consensus Forecast is and see our Chinese GDP projections.

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