China’s Economy Grows 4.8% in Q1 Despite the Resurgence of COVID-19

China’s economy grew 4.8 per cent year on year in the first quarter (Q1) of 2022 despite challenges from an increasingly complex international environment and resurgences of COVID-19 cases at home.

China’s gross domestic product grew 4.8% in the three months to March 31, compared with the same period last year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. That was quicker than the 4% increase the world’s second-largest economy registered in the previous quarter.

The growth was buoyed by a surprisingly good economic performance in January and February, with several indicators for those two months beating analyst predictions.

However, Retail sales declined 3.5% in March from a year ago, the first drop since July 2020. Industrial production grew by 5% in March, compared with 7.5% in the first two months of the year.

“The economic development is facing many difficulties and challenges now,” NBS spokesperson Fu Linghui said at a press conference in Beijing on Monday as quoted by CNN.

The Covid outbreaks in March have disrupted production in some regions and hurt consumption In particular, catering, tourism and transportation services have been hit hard. Unemployment in 31 major cities surged to 6% in March, a record high. Among those aged 16 to 24, unemployment hit 16%, its highest level in eight months.

Currently, the Chinese government has set a growth target for this year of around 5.5%, the lowest in three decades due to the Covid outbreak, combined with the war in Ukraine.

Read also; China’s Factory Activity Shrinks as Cities go into Lockdown.

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