China has become the first major economy in the world to recover to pre-pandemic levels. Chinese economy has shown resilience and its GDP expanded at the fast pace of 18.3% in the first quarter of 2021.
China’s economy expanded at its fastest pace on record in the first quarter, data showed Friday, in a sharp turnaround from the historic contraction caused by the coronavirus outbreak.
Major economic indicators ranging from GDP, industrial production, trade, retail sales and investment suggest China’s economy has recovered to pre-COVID levels.
The industrial sector has led the growth in 2020. China added 4.28 trillion Yuan ($655 billion) to its GDP as the result of fast recovery. That’s roughly the size of Poland’s economic output in 2020.
Chinese factories have raced to fill overseas orders for goods ranging from protective masks to work-from-home electronics, with rival manufacturers abroad paralysed by COVID-19.
This year, Chinese consumers are finally opening up their wallets after months of hesitation. Retail sales jumped 34.2% in March from a year earlier.
But Beijing has been cautious about declaring a complete recovery, saying the foundations of a recovery are still not firm.
China was the only major economy that showed an increase in gross domestic product (GDP) last year after successfully controlling the spread of the coronavirus pandemic at home.
China was the first country to hit by COVID-19 pandemic in December 2019. The COVID-19 spread in Wuhan and other cities. But China imposed lockdown and stops the spread of pandemic to other areas. China also became the first country to open its economy after controlling the COVID-19 pandemic. That is why China is called “first in” “first out” country as far as COVID-19 is concerned.
It marks the fastest pace since quarterly records began three decades ago, though the GDP figure of 18.3 percent. While the disease first emerged in central China in late 2019, the country was also the quickest to bounce back after authorities imposed strict control measures and consumers stayed home.
The national economy made a good start,” National Bureau of Statistics spokeswoman Liu Aihua told reporters Friday. The sharp spike was partly due to “incomparable factors such as the low base figure of last year and increase of working days due to staff staying put during the Lunar New Year” holiday, said Liu.
Migrant workers had been urged to remain in the areas where they work during the break owing to fears that the annual massive migration might lead to local outbreaks. But Liu added that quarter-on-quarter growth has “demonstrated a steady recovery”.
Across key sectors, China powered on in its economic rebound after caution around the holiday period subsided and domestic consumption soared. In March, the country’s industrial output rise 14.1 percent on-year, bringing first quarter growth to 24.5 percent, the official data showed.
Retail sales surged 34.2 percent, picking up from the first two months and bringing first-quarter growth to 33.9 percent as life largely returned to normal. Liu, however, warned that the international landscape still contained “high uncertainties”.
“There is expectation that with retail sales’ outperformance and a recovering job market, that there is momentum picking up in private consumption,” she told AFP, adding that this should take over the lead in growth later in the year.
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