China's economy grew 3.2% in the second quarter from a year earlier, a stat that normally wouldn't generate a ton of attention. In this case, however, it represents the first major economy to return to growth since the pandemic began, reports the Wall Street Journal. On Wednesday, China reported no new local transmissions for the 10th straight day. "The national economy overcame the adverse impact of the epidemic in the first half gradually and demonstrated a momentum of restorative growth and gradual recovery," is the official take of Beijing's statistics bureau. The growth beat expectations of about 2.5%, reports Reuters.
Not that all is well. "The possibility of resurgences in local COVID-19 cases, global economic uncertainty, and the deteriorating China-US relationship all pose downside risks to China's H2 growth outlook," says Betty Wang, senior China economist at ANZ bank. How things play out in the US in particular is a huge factor. A long recession in America, China's most vital export market, could help keep the global economy in general in what the Journal calls a "state of paralysis." (Read more China stories.)