China economy grows in 2020 as rebound from virus gains

BEIJING (AP) — China reports its economy grew 2.3% in 2020 as a recovery from the coronavirus pandemic accelerated while the United States, Europe and Japan struggled with disease outbreaks. Official data showed growth in the three months ending in December rose to 6.5% over a year earlier, up from the previous quarter’s 4.9%. Activity contracted by 6.8% in the first quarter in 2020 as factories and shops shut down to fight the virus. The following quarter, China became the first major country to grow again with a 3.2% expansion after the Communist Party declared victory over the virus in March and reopened the economy.