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China’s economy beats expectations, grows at 5.3% in first quarter: Top points

Published:

Apr 16, 2024 07:59 AM IST

China’s economy has struggled to bounce back from the Covid pandemic as a slowdown in demand and a property crisis in the country.

China’s economy beat expectations in the first quarter receiving a boost from policies and an increase in demand, the government said. The country’s economy- world’s second-largest- expanded at a 5.3% annual pace in January-March. This beat analysts’ forecasts of about 4.8%, official data showed and compared to the previous quarter, growth was up 1.6%. China has set a gross domestic product (GDP) growth target of 5% for 2024.

Chinese President Xi Jinping adjusts his jacket during the closing session of the National People's Congress held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.(AP)
Chinese President Xi Jinping adjusts his jacket during the closing session of the National People’s Congress held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.(AP)

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Why has China’s economy struggled?

China’s economy has struggled to bounce back from the Covid pandemic as a slowdown in demand and a property crisis in the country has weighed on its growth prompting policymakers to introduce a raft of fiscal and monetary policy measures.

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Key pointers from data released by China:

  1. Industrial production rose 4.5% in March from a year earlier, versus economists’ forecast of 6%
  2. Industrial output rose 6.1% for the first quarter
  3. Retail sales climbed 3.1%, missing an expected 4.8% gain
  4. Fixed-asset investment expanded 4.5% in the first three months, compared with a 4% expected increase Read more: Tesla layoffs: What CEO Elon Musk wrote in leaked job cuts memo to employees
  5. Property sector continued shrinking, with investment plunging 9.5% in the period
  6. Urban jobless rate dropped to 5.2% last month from 5.3% in February

What Goldman Sachs said on China’s economy?

Goldman Sachs noted that the degree of China’s government support for households and businesses to spend at home is likely to depend on how Chinese firms fare on international markets as it raised the country’s growth forecast, predicting that the 5% target will be met.

“If external demand is strong, then less domestic stimulus is needed. If the property market continues to deteriorate, then more easing measures will be introduced,” it said. 

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