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China makes strong return to growth in second quarter with GDP up 3.2pc

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China’s official figure was markedly better than the 1.3pc on-year growth tipped by an AFP poll of analysts, although still among the lowest rates on record.

The economy contracted 1.6pc on-year in the first six months, the NBS said, while the urban unemployment rate dipped to 5.7pc in June, from 5.9pc a month earlier.

The employment figure remains closely watched, with nearly nine million graduates expected to enter an uncertain labour market this year and analysts pointing out that actual unemployment is likely higher.

Tommy Wu, economist at Oxford Economics, noted in a report last month that the “survey-based unemployment rate substantially understates labour market stress as the measure excludes large numbers of unemployed (would-be) migrants”.

Industrial production continued to climb in June, growing in line with expectations at 4.8pc, up from 4.4pc in May.

Some expect China to be the only major economy to see growth in 2020, as it was the first to be hit by the virus and likely first to bounce back.

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