China’s shaky economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic is gaining strength as consumers return to shopping malls and auto dealerships while the United States and Europe endure painful contractions.
Growth in the world’s second-largest economy accelerated to 4.9 per cent over a year earlier in the three months ending in September, up from the previous quarter’s 3.2 per cent, official data showed Monday. Retail spending rebounded to above pre-virus levels for the first time and factory output rose, boosted by demand for exports of masks and other medical supplies.
Growth ‘still accelerating’
China is the only major economy that is expected to grow this year while activity in the United States, Europe and Japan shrinks.
The recovery is “broadening out and becoming less reliant” on government stimulus, Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics said in a report. He said growth is “still accelerating” heading into the present quarter.
Most Asian stock markets rose on the news of increased activity in China, the biggest trading partner for all of its neighbours. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index added 1.1 per cent while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng climbed 0.9 per cent. Markets in South Korea and Australia also rose.
China’s benchmark Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.7 per cent on expectations the relatively strong data will reduce the likelihood of additional stimulus that might boost share prices.
Warning on international economy
China, where the pandemic began in December, became the first major economy to return to growth after the ruling Communist Party declared the disease under control in March and began reopening factories, shops and offices.
The economy contracted by 6.8 per cent in the first quarter, its worst performance since at least the mid-1960s, before rebounding.
The economy “continued the steady recovery,” the National Bureau of Statistics said in a report. However, it warned, “the international environment is still complicated and severe.” It said China faces great pressure to prevent a resurgence of the virus.
Authorities have lifted curbs on travel and business but visitors to government and other public buildings still are checked for the virus’s telltale fever. Travellers arriving from abroad must be quarantined for two weeks.
Last week, more than 10 million people were tested for the virus in the eastern port of Qingdao after 12 cases were found there. That broke a two-month streak with no virus transmissions reported within China.
Industrial production rose 5.8 per cent over the same quarter last year, a marked improvement over the first half’s 1.3 per cent contraction. Chinese exporters are taking market share from foreign competitors that still are hampered by anti-virus controls.
Retail sales rose 0.9 per cent over a year earlier. That was up from a 7.2 per cent contraction in the first half as consumers, already anxious about a slowing economy and a tariff war with Washington, put off buying. Online commerce rose 15.3 per cent.
In a sign demand is accelerating, sales in September rose 3.3 per cent.
“China’s recovery in private consumption is gathering momentum,” said Stephen Innes of AxiCorp in a report.
Economists say China is likely to recover faster than other major economies due to the ruling party’s decision to impose the most intensive anti-disease measures in history. Those temporarily cut off most access to cities with a total of 60 million people.
The International Monetary Fund is forecasting China’s economic growth at 1.8 per cent this year while the U.S. economy is expected to shrink by 4.3 per cent. The IMF expects a 9.8 per cent contraction in France, 6 per cent in Germany and 5.3 per cent in Japan.
Private sector analysts say as much as 30 per cent of China’s urban workforce, or up to 130 million people, may have lost their jobs at least temporarily. They say as many as 25 million jobs might be lost for good this year.
Tesla whistleblower Martin Tripp ordered to pay $400,000 to settle hacking case – The Verge
Martin Tripp, the former Tesla worker who has been embroiled in a bitter legal battle with CEO Elon Musk for over two years, was ordered to pay his former employer $400,000 after admitting to leaking confidential information to a reporter.
The settlement is intended to bring an end to one of the more sordid stories at Tesla, in which Tripp, a former process technician, locked horns with the billionaire CEO over allegations that Tesla was wasting a “jaw-dropping” amount of raw material as it ramped up production of the Model 3 sedan.
Musk later accused Tripp of “sabotage” and personally ordered investigators to hack Tripp’s phone and spy on his messages. Tesla even misled local police about a potential mass shooting by Tripp at the company’s Nevada factory.
But in the end, Tripp came out on the losing side. The payment is part of a proposed settlement to a lawsuit filed by Tesla in 2018 alleging that Tripp hacked the electric car company’s system and transferred “gigabytes” of data to third parties. As part of the agreement, Tripp admitted to violating laws related to trade secrets and computer crimes when he told a Business Insider reporter that Tesla was wasting a significant amount of raw materials during production of its Model 3.
Tripp also agreed to pay $25,000 to Tesla for continuing to reveal information about the company, despite being ordered to stop by a judge. Tripp had been publishing a large number of documents and videos online, including many under a confidentiality order in the case. In August, Tripp fired his lawyers and set about representing himself in the case. It was also revealed that a Tesla short seller, The Funicular Fund, was financing Tripp’s legal defense.
Earlier this year, a judge dismissed Tripp’s defamation case against Tesla, in which the former technician accused the company of spreading false rumors about him. After Tripp filed for whistleblower status with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Musk emailed a reporter at The Guardian telling them a tipster had contacted Tesla to say that Tripp might “come back and shoot people,” at the Nevada Gigafactory. The local sheriff determined the threat was not real, but Tesla issued a press release, which was picked up by several media outlets.
Canada's economy bounced back at record 40% pace in third quarter — but GDP still below pre-COVID level – CBC.ca
Statistics Canada said Tuesday the economy grew at a record annualized pace of 40.5 per cent in the third quarter as businesses came out of COVID-19 lockdowns.
The previous record for quarterly growth in real gross domestic product was 13.2 per cent in the first quarter of 1965, the agency said.
As historic as the rebound was, it fell short of expectations.
Financial data firm Refinitiv said the average economist estimate was for an annualized growth rate of 47.6 per cent for the quarter.
The rebound over July, August and September was a sharp turnaround from the preceding three-month stretch, which saw a record drop.
Driving the rebound were the further rolling back of public health restrictions that allowed businesses to reopen.
Statistics Canada also said there was a substantial increase in the housing market owing to low interest rates, as well as household spending on goods like cars.
GDP still lower than it was in February
Despite the overall increase, the national statistics office said real gross domestic product still remains shy of where it was before the pandemic.
The third quarter ended with the fifth consecutive monthly increase in real GDP after the steepest monthly drops on record in March and April when widespread lockdowns were instituted to slow the spread of COVID-19.
September saw a 0.8 per cent increase in real GDP, Statistics Canada said, a slight slowing from the 0.9 per cent recorded in August.
The agency also provided a preliminary estimate for October’s figures, saying early indicators point to a 0.2 per cent increase in the month. The figure will be finalized at the end of this month.
“The fourth quarter of 2020 is still beginning with some growth, though less than we had anticipated,” CIBC senior economist Royce Mendes wrote in a note.
“Looking ahead, the economy faces a December with harsh restrictions that will likely see another contraction in economic activity.”
Statistics Canada says economy grew at a record pace in Q3 – CityNews Toronto
Statistics Canada says the economy grew at a record annualized pace of 40.5 per cent in the third quarter as businesses came out of COVID-19 lockdowns.
Financial data firm Refinitiv says the average economist estimate was for an annualized growth rate of 47.6 per cent for the quarter.
The rebound over July, August and September was a sharp turnaround from the preceding three-month stretch saw a record drop.
Driving the bounce-back were the further rolling back of public health restrictions that allowed businesses to reopen.
Statistics Canada also says there was a substantial increase in the housing market owing to low interest rates and household spending on goods like cars.
Despite the overall increase, the national statistics office says real gross domestic product still remains shy of where it was before the pandemic.
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