China became the only major economy to avoid a contraction last year with its reported GDP expanded by 2.3% in 2020 as the global economy struggled to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
Gross domestic product grew by 6.5% in the fourth quarter from a year ago, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed on Monday.
Online sales of consumer goods rose at a relatively rapid pace of 14.8% as millions of families who were ordered to stay home shifted to online shopping.
Economists expected China to have been the only major economy to grow last year, and predicted GDP expanded by just over 2%.
In early 2020, China’s economy contracted by 6.8% in the first quarter as China took the then-unprecedented step of shutting down Wuhan and other cities in Hubei to fight the virus.
However, China’s GDP grew 6.5% in the fourth quarter, faster than the 6.1% forecast by economists in a Reuters poll. China’s GDP growth figure this year will come off a lowered base.
In late December, the National Bureau of Statistics revised China’s official growth rate for 2019 to 6.0% from 6.1%. The cut primarily occurred in manufacturing, as factories dealt with new U.S. tariffs on billions of dollars’ worth of Chinese goods.