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China's Vice Premier: Life Has Returned To Normal, Growth Will Return

China’s Vice Premier Liu He told the World Economic Forum that life has returned to normal in the Asian nation, with covid infections now past their peak.

Liu He told the WEF at Davos on Tuesday that China will return to its pre-pandemic growth trend this year, Bloomberg reported. In its latest MOMR, also published on Tuesday, OPEC said it sees China’s economic growth forecasts unchanged from last month’s views, at 3.1% for last year and 4.8% for 2023. The oil exporter’s group adjusted world oil demand downward in the third quarter last year, with China’s demand slipping. OPEC sees global oil demand growth unchanged this year, according to Tuesday’s MOMR, at 2.2 million bpd, although OPEC cautioned that “this forecast remains surrounded by uncertainties including global economic developments, shifts in Covid-19 containment policies, and geopolitical tensions.

According to OPEC, China’s crude oil imports continued on the path of recovery in November at 11.4 million bpd, with preliminary data showing its imports remained at “similarly high levels.”.

China released its fourth-quarter economic data earlier in the day, which showed China’s economy—the world’s second biggest—grew 2.9%. While this beat analyst expectations, China’s full-year 2022 economic growth of 3% came in significantly below China’s official target of 5.5% due to its zero-covid policies, which are now behind it.

The oil industry is closely monitoring China’s economic data to get a handle on global crude oil demand growth, with OPEC’s decisions

Analysts are revamping their estimates for China’s economic data—and its thirst for oil—based on their recent covid policy shift that has backed away from its tightly implemented zero-Covid strategy.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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