The surge is mainly because of a low base effect, as China had shut down large swaths of its economy in early 2020 to contain the coronavirus outbreak. On a quarterly basis, the Chinese economy grew only 0.6% in the January-to-March period, according to the government. In the fourth quarter of 2020, the economy had expanded 6.5%. Still, the growth figures indicate that China's economic recovery continues to gather steam.
The world's second largest economy has performed well relative to the rest of the globe. China was the only major economy to record growth in 2020, expanding 2.3% as many countries struggled to contain the coronavirus pandemic. Chinese authorities called last year's performance "better than we had expected."