A nation reporting its quarterly GDP numbers isn't typically scintillating news. But China's new data is generating big headlines because observers see COVID lessons at play. Beijing reported Monday that GDP grew at 4.9% in the third quarter when compared to the previous year, reports CNBC. That now has China on track to be the only major world economy to record an expansion for the bizarre year of 2020, notes NPR. Beijing's overall growth may be meager, around 1.9%, but that's downright robust when you consider that the US economy is expected to shrink by 4.3% this year and the eurozone by even more, 8.3%, per the Wall Street Journal.
In short, China's economy is "now the envy of the world," according to CNN Business. At the New York Times, Keith Bradsher strikes a similar theme: "As most of the world still struggles with the coronavirus pandemic, China is showing once again that a fast economic rebound is possible when the virus is brought firmly under control." While nations including the US are seeing a rebound, China is reporting almost no local transmissions. The Journal sees a three-stage process involved in China's COVID strategy: In the first quarter of the year, it shut down most economic activity; in the second, it began revving up factories; and in the third quarter, with the virus largely under control, it made a push to get consumers back out in public and spending again. (Read more China stories.)