GDP growth to exceed 8% in 2021 as post-pandemic recovery continues
Published: Nov 29, 2020 09:03 PM

File photo: VCG

Gradually emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic, China's economy has demonstrated its resilience and stability this year. With a further recovery expected, GDP growth will exceed 8 percent next year, according to macroeconomists and industry reports.

Real GDP growth in 2021 is expected to hit 8.1 percent due both to the low base this year caused by the pandemic and the continued economic recovery, the China Macroeconomy Forum said in a report over the weekend.

Next year's economic growth will start at a fast rate and then decelerate. First-quarter GDP in 2021 is estimated to expand 11.4 percent year-on-year, but growth will drop to about 5.4 percent in the fourth quarter, according to the report.

The report said four factors will influence next year's growth: the ebbing of the pandemic, the normalization of China's unconventional policies, the transformation and adjustment of China's development strategy, and the gradual rise of new internal momentum.

In the first three quarters of this year, China's GDP reached 72.27 trillion yuan ($11 trillion), up 0.7 percent year-on-year based on comparable prices. GDP fell 6.8 percent in the first quarter, grew 3.2 percent in the second quarter, and rose 4.9 percent in the third quarter.

Liu Shijin, deputy director of the economic committee of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, said in a conference on economic reform on Sunday that under normal circumstances, "we could strive for a growth rate of 7-8 percent or above next year, but the economy will not return to the track of high growth." 

Next year will still be one of recovery due to the low base in 2020, said Liu.

Cao Heping, an economist at Peking University, estimated that the GDP growth rate might reach 8.4 percent in 2021.

"Newly emerging industries driven by technological innovation, together with robust domestic demand and recovering exports, will inject more impetus into the economy next year," Cao told the Global Times on Sunday.

Wan Zhe, an economist and professor at the Belt and Road School of Beijing Normal University, told the Global Times on Sunday that an 8-percent growth rate or more can be expected next year, not only because of the recovery in the post-COVID-19 period marked by resilience and certainty when the world is still struggling with the pandemic, but also the medium- and long-term planning of the nation's development.

Meanwhile, it is important to remain alert to potential systemic risks and further improve the environment for small and micro-sized businesses, which provide the bulk of China's employment, Wan noted.