China has reported a 2.3% growth in its gross domestic product (GDP) in 2020, as it sees an accelerated recovery from the COVID-19 outbreak in the second half of the year.
As per official data released by the country's National Bureau of Statistics on Monday, the Chinese economy grew 6.5% in the December-ended quarter from the same period a year ago. Growth in the last quarter of the calendar year 2020 has been higher than 4.9% in the previous quarters.
In the January-March 2020 period, the country's economic activity contracted by 6.8% as factories and shops were forced to shut down to fight the virus.
The following quarter, China became the first major country to grow again with a 3.2% expansion after the Communist Party declared victory over the virus in March and re-opened the economy.
As per the official data, despite its weakest growth in a decade, China's performance has been way ahead of advanced economies like the US, the UK and Japan, which struggled with disease flare-ups. All major economies, including India, are yet to report growth in GDP after the COVID-19 outbreak.
COVID-19 first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019. China has re-imposed controls on travel in some areas after a spate of cases this month but most of the country is unaffected.
The country's economic recovery was aided by global demand for Chinese-made masks and other medical supplies. Exports were up 3.6% last year despite a tariff war with the US.
Domestically, Chinese consumers remained reluctant to spend, as retail sales contracted 3.9% for 2020, however, there was a 14.8% rise in online sales of consumer goods.