China’s economy returning to pre-pandemic levels

China’s economy returning to pre-pandemic levels

All but two of China’s 29 provinces have seen double-digit economic growth in the first quarter of this year, according to figures released at the end of April. The exceptions are North east China’s Jilin and the Tibet Autonomous Region in the south west, which have yet to report their figures.

Leading the GDP growth was central China’s Hubei Province, which was hardest hit by Covid-19 in 2020. Its GDP grew nearly 60% in the quarter.

Eight of the 29 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities that have released their data recorded growth above the national average of 18.3%.

The double-digit growth rates are mostly due to an extremely low base last year, when the country was bracing the full impact of Covid-19, according to Tian Yun, vice director of the Beijing Economic Operation Association.

With the effective containment of the outbreak conditions in many industries, including manufacturing, retail and catering, have returned to levels that are near to or exceed pre-pandemic figures.

“In the first quarter, there was a fast recovery not only on the supply side, but also in domestic demand, driving up manufacturing as well as retailing and catering,” Tian said. However, he warned that growth might peak in the first half of this year and then gradually slow from the third quarter, as domestic and overseas demand stabilizes.