The World Bank (WB) today lowered its growth forecast for the Chinese economy in 2023 to 4.3% from its previous forecast (4.5%) At a time of “uncertainty” before the process of reopening the country after almost three years of harsh restrictions imposed within the framework of the ‘zero covid’ policy.
The institution also lowered its forecast for this year, placing it at 2.7%, 0.1 points below the forecast released at the end of September and 1.6 units lower than that published in June.
In 2024, the rate of growth of Chinese GDP would accelerate, according to the WB report, to 5%.
The agency’s director for China, Mongolia and Korea, Mara Warwick, described as “crucial” the adaptation of China’s anti-pandemic strategy to avoid both public health risks and disruptions to economic activity.
“Accelerating public health preparedness efforts, including programs to increase vaccination especially for at-risk groups, could help make reopening safer and less disruptive,” he said.
The World Bank also warned of other “significant risks” for the growth of the Chinese economy, including the “persistent” problems of the real estate sector or changes in weather patterns such as those registered this year.
“Macroeconomic support policies will be needed as growth is expected to remain below potential, and the global environment is weakening,” said Elitza Mileva, the agency’s chief China economist.
The dossier also warns of rising youth unemployment rates, which reached a record high of almost 20% by mid-year, an issue for which the World Bank recommends structural reforms with a view to improving the skills of this sector of the population or boosting mobility in the labor market.