China GDP spikes by 18.3% in Q1 2021

Photo: AP

Chinese economy posted a robust growth in the first three months of this year edging up to 18.3%, AP reported quoting official statistics data. The rapid growth is attributed to a rebound from the pandemic crisis, but overall growth is running out of steam with key sectors like manufacturing seen stable at pre-Covid-19 levels with their advance being bound by several factors including the trade war with US.

China growth compared with 2020’s final quarter, when a recovery was under way, slowed to 0.6%, among the weakest of the past decade. The latest figures “mask a sharp slowdown” in the world’s second-largest economy as stimulus spending and easy credit are wound down, Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital economics told AP. “China’s post-COVID rebound is leveling off,” Evans-Pritchard said.

Manufacturing, auto sales and consumer spending have recovered to above pre-pandemic levels since the ruling Communist Party declared victory over the coronavirus last March and allowed factories and stores to reopen. Restaurants and shopping malls are filling up, though visitors still are checked for the virus’s telltale fever.

Forecasters expect economic growth of at least 7% this year but say China’s outlook is clouded by trade tension with Washington and disruptions in global supplies of processor chips needed by smartphone makers and other tech industries the ruling party is counting on to propel a self-sustaining economy and reduce reliance on trade. This year, the International Monetary Fund and private sector forecasters expect growth to rise to above 8%. The ruling party’s official target is “above 6%”.

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