China’s back, according to the latest data

Briefly: According to data released in Beijing, China’s economy is recovering faster than expected, months after the government decided abruptly to end its strict pandemic controls and restore business confidence.

But don’t crack that baijiu bottle just yet:

⏲️ There could be a degree of ‘backloading’ here, as consumers and businesses make up for time lost during last quarter’s Covid controls

🎓 Youth unemployment has spiked, as the economy struggles to absorb a record 11.6 million college graduates looking for jobs this year

💻 And the US ban on high-end chip sales to China seems to be biting, with production of micro computing devices down by 21.6% compared to last year

So that’s probably why China’s statistics agency described the data as a “good start”, but “not solid yet.”

Intrigue’s take: If IMF forecasts are to be believed, a third of the world’s total economic growth will take place in China this year.

And China is now the top trading partner for more than 120 countries, hoovering up everything from Ukrainian corn and American machinery, through to South African diamonds and Brazilian soy.

So all in all, this “good start” in Beijing is probably good news for the world.

Also worth noting:

  • Hainan province unveiled a sweeping pro-business package last month, though some measures (like a promise not to unnecessarily jail entrepreneurs) triggered more nerves than optimism.
  • Many observers believe Beijing has completed its regulatory crackdown on big tech, which had stymied growth in the sector.