China’s GDP grew 4.8% in the first quarter amid surge in COVID-19


The country’s gross domestic product grew 4.8% year over year from January to March, accelerating from a 4% increase in the fourth quarter last year.

The country’s gross domestic product grew 4.8% year over year from January to March, accelerating from a 4% increase in the fourth quarter last year.

China’s economy grew 4.8% in the first quarter, falling below the 5.5% target set by the ruling Communist Party for this year.

The country’s gross domestic product grew 4.8% year on year from January to March, accelerating from a 4% increase in the fourth quarter last year, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed on Monday.

The world’s second-biggest economy has seen stable performance with continued recovery as China balances disease control and economic and social development, NBS spokesman Fu Linghui told a news conference.

After a strong recovery in 2021, China faced some unexpected challenges earlier this year with a volatile global situation and multiple sporadic domestic COVID-19 outbreaks, he said.

Economic downward pressure is increasing and some key indicators have risen more slowly, Mr Fu said.

“But long-term economic fundamentals remain solid and the ongoing momentum of economic recovery has not changed,” Mr Fu said, adding that the country is confident and able to overcome these difficulties.

A breakdown of Monday’s data shows that value-added industrial production rose by a steady 6.5% year-on-year in the first quarter and fixed asset investment grew by 9.3%. Retail sales of consumer goods increased by 3.3%.

The analyzed urban unemployment rate was 5.5% from January to March, during which 2.85 million new urban jobs were created.

China previously set its 2022 GDP growth target at around 5.5% to focus on slower growth to stabilize its economic fundamentals this year, as the world’s second-largest economy stepped up supportive policies to stave off growth to support strong headwinds.

“We must be aware that the domestic and international environment is becoming increasingly complicated and uncertain, and economic development faces significant difficulties and challenges,” Fu said of the Q1 figures.

“Regarding the trend of the next phase, although there is some pressure on the economy in the short term… From the perspective of the whole year, China’s economy is expected to maintain a recovery trend of development,” he said.

It was widely expected that the current wave of the Omicron virus in China, sending one city after another into prolonged lockdowns, would have a negative impact on the economy.

A lockdown was imposed in Shanghai, China’s largest business and economic hub, after major cities like Xian and Shenzhen.

The city is in the third week of lockdown. The city of 26 million came to a standstill as it continuously reported about 30,000 cases without a break over the past two weeks.

“Q1 GDP growth is strong. But China’s economy slowed sharply in March due to COVID outbreaks in many cities. Consumption took a hit as retail sales growth turned negative,” said Zhang Zhiwei, chief economist at Pinpoint Asset Management.

“China’s GDP growth of 4.8% in the first quarter of 2022 exceeded our expectations. We believe this mainly reflects the growth seen in official January-February data ahead of the slowdown in economic activity in March,” commented Tommy Wu, senior China economist at Oxford Economics, on the Q1 data.

“March activity data suggests that China’s economy has been slowing, particularly in household consumption, amid lockdowns in Shenzhen and Shanghai, as well as mobility restrictions imposed in various parts of China,” he told the Hong Kong-based company South China tomorrow post.

“We expect a stronger macro policy response in the second quarter to support growth, but the impact will be limited given mobility restrictions. The effectiveness of policy stimulus will depend on continuing to restrict mobility on a broad scale, so the outlook remains on the downside,” he said.

Last Friday, in a much-anticipated move, China’s central bank cut its reserve requirement ratio (RRR), or the amount of cash banks are required to hold in reserve to prop up their slowing economy amid growing headwinds.

According to Q1 data, China’s retail sales of consumer goods, a key indicator of the country’s consumption strength, grew 3.3% year-on-year.

The country’s retail sales of consumer goods totaled about 10.87 trillion yuan (about 1.7 trillion U.S. dollars) during the period, according to NBS data.

China’s investment in real estate development also increased by 0.7% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2022.

During the period, real estate investment was about 2.78 trillion yuan (about US$435.44 billion). NBS data showed.

Residential investment rose 0.7% year on year to about 2.08 trillion yuan in the January-March period.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *