Xi Jinping estimates China’s 2022 GDP grew a minimum of 4.4%. However Covid distress looms

Xi Jinping estimates China's 2022 GDP grew at least 4.4%. But Covid misery looms


Hong Kong

China’s economy grew at least 4.4% in 2022, according to leader Xi Jinping, a figure much stronger than many economists had expected. But the current Covid wave may hobble growth in the months ahead.

China’s annual GDP is expected to have exceeded 120 trillion yuan ($17.4 trillion) last year, Xi said in a televised New Year’s Eve speech on Saturday. That implies growth of more than 4.4%, which is a surprisingly robust figure.

Economists had generally expected growth to slump to a rate between 2.7% and 3.3% for 2022. The government had maintained a much higher annual growth target of around 5.5%.

“China’s economy is resilient and has good potential and vitality. Its long-term fundamentals remain unchanged,” Xi said in his speech. “As long as we are confident and seek progress steadily, we will be able to achieve our goals.”