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16.04.2021 14:00

China's GDP hits record growth in the first quarter

Reuters reports that China's economic recovery quickened sharply in the first quarter from last year's deep coronavirus slump, propelled by stronger demand at home and abroad and continued government support for smaller firms.

Gross domestic product (GDP) jumped 18.3% in the first quarter from a year earlier, official data showed on Friday. While that undershot the 19% forecast by economists in a Reuters poll, it was the fastest growth since quarterly records began in 1992 and up from 6.5% in the fourth quarter last year.

Aided by strict virus containment measures and emergency relief for businesses, the economy has recovered from a steep 6.8% slump in the first three months of 2020, when an outbreak of COVID-19 in the central city of Wuhan rapidly became a crippling pandemic that has killed about 3 million worldwide.

China's rebound has been led by exports as factories raced to fill overseas orders and more recently a steady pickup in consumption as shoppers returned to restaurants, malls and car dealerships.

Retail sales increased 34.2% year-on-year in March, beating a 28.0% gain expected by analysts and stronger than the 33.8% jump seen in the first two months of the year.

Factory output grew 14.1% year-on-year in March, slowing from a 35.1% surge in the January-February period and lagging a forecast 17.2% rise.


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