China’s economy expanded 8.1% last year, far exceeding the government’s own targets. But weakening growth in the closing months of 2021 suggests that trouble is still on the horizon as the country contends with a deepening real estate crisis, renewed Covid outbreaks, and Beijing’s strict no-tolerance approach to controlling the virus.
That figure is roughly in line, if not slightly higher than, the expectations set by many economists. And it outstrips the Chinese government’s target last year for its economy to expand at least 6% for 2021.
But GDP expanded just 4% in the last quarter of the year compared to a year prior. While higher than the 3.6% growth forecast in a Reuters poll of analysts, it’s still the slowest pace in a year and a half.