Sharp decrease in economic activity in March, Chinese official data

4/17/2022 4:11:25 PM
 Residents queue for a COVID19 test during a lockdown in Shanghai.
Expectations indicate that China will record a strong decrease in economic activity in March, with consumers and factories affected by the outbreak of Covid-19 and closures. Growth in the first quarter may have rebounded due to a strong start at the beginning of the year.

A Reuters poll on Monday showed that the GDP grew by 4.4 per cent in the January-March period from a year earlier, outpacing the same period last year, due to a strong start in the first two months of 2022.

The survey revealed that quarterly GDP growth is expected to decline to 0.6 per cent in the first quarter from 1.6 per cent in October and December.

Analysts say separate data on March activity, particularly retail sales, is likely to show a sharper slowdown after a hard hit by China's strenuous efforts to contain the largest coronavirus outbreak since the virus first appeared in Wuhan in late 2019.

Analysts say the April data will likely worsen as lockdowns continue in Shanghai and elsewhere. Some economists say recession risks are rising.

The government is due to publish first-quarter and March figures on Monday at 0200 GMT, as investor speculation mounts about whether there will be more measures to stimulate the economy.

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