Business & Economy

China’s GDP shrinks 1.6 pct in first half of 2020

Beijing, Jul 16 (efe-epa).- China’s gross domestic product shrank by 1.6 percent year-on-year during the first half of 2020, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reported Thursday.

The Asian country’s GDP expanded by 3.2 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of the year, beating analysts’ forecasts, which had predicted a growth of 2.5 percent.

However, during the first quarter, the gross domestic product had plunged by 6.8 percent, the first contraction in the country’s economy since 1976 as a result of the impact of the coronavirus crisis.

The NBS noted that economic growth went from negative to positive in the second quarter amid a revival of the economy after the halt in economic activity caused by the epidemic and added that market expectations are good.

Due to the coronavirus crisis, the National People’s Congress (China’s legislature) decided at its annual meeting – postponed from March to May also on account of the virus – decided not to set a fixed target for economic growth this year as it had done in previous years, with the exception of 2019, when it announced a growth target of between 6 percent and 6.5 percent.

“We have not set a specific target for economic growth this year. This is because our country will face some factors that are difficult to predict in its development, due to the great uncertainty regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and the world economic and trade environment,” Chinese Premier Li Keqiang then told the 3,000 delegates gathered from around the country for China’s main annual political event.

In nominal terms, China’s total wealth in the first half of this year stood at 45.66 trillion yuan ($6.53 trillion).

Other half-yearly statistics made public on Thursday included retail sales, which tracks consumer spending and fell by 11.4 percent, and industrial production, which decreased by 1.3 percent in the first half of the year.

Meanwhile, investment in fixed assets fell by 3.1 percent while investment in real estate rose 1.9 percent year-on-year in the same period.

Earlier this week, China announced that its foreign trade had declined by 3.2 percent year-on-year during the first half of 2020 to 14.24 trillion yuan. EFE-EPA

jt/pd/tw

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