tirsdag 19. april 2022

China's economy had a good first quarter. Lockdowns leave it 'in distress'

China's economy made a solid start to the year, recording first quarter growth that surpassed expectations. But a recent slump in consumer spending and rising unemployment suggest much tougher months ahead with dozens of cities still under Covid lockdowns. 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 on Monday. That was quicker than the 4% increase the world's second-largest economy registered in the previous quarter.

Growth was buoyed by a surprisingly good economic performance in January and February, with several indicators for those two months beating analyst predictions. But Beijing's efforts to curb its worst Covid outbreak in two years have dealt a blow to activity since March, including in the country's financial center and manufacturing hub — Shanghai. Many businesses were forced to suspend operations, including automakers Volkswagen and Tesla and iPhone assembler Pegatron.