China: growth up 4.8% despite a resurgence in Covid-19 cases

China is experiencing growth up 4.8%, which is reflected in particular by an increase in industrial production, + 5% over one year, exceeding forecasts.

REUTERS - ALY SONG

Text by: RFI Follow

1 min

Stronger than expected growth in China.

The world's second-largest economy grew 4.8% in the first quarter, despite the impact of lockdowns and other health restrictions linked to the resurgence of Covid-19 cases.

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With our correspondent in Beijing

,

Stéphane Lagarde

China entered the hard part of the Omicron wave in early March, so this figure of 4.8% growth compared to last year only partly reflects the impact of the

“zero Covid” measures

on the economy .

It is in any case better than the 4.4 or even the 4.3% growth anticipated by many economists.

This resilience of the Chinese economy is reflected in particular by an increase in industrial production, + 5% over one year, again exceeding forecasts.

For the rest, however, all the signals are red.

Dozens of Chinese megalopolises are under cover, including Xi'an and Zhengzhou again this weekend, or

partially confined

.

To read also

: Shanghai records its first three deaths from Covid-19 since the start of the reconfinement

Supporting the economy, a priority

There is also collateral damage for businesses.

Retail sales fell 3.5% in March, unemployment is at its highest especially among young people since May 2020. And for factories, even if Shanghai plans reopenings this week, it will be done in stages, d where the warning of the national statistics office on Monday on the “ 

significant difficulties and challenges ahead 

” and the “ 

need to make economic stability the absolute priority 

”.

Prime Minister Li Kqiang even spoke on several occasions recently about the urgency of supporting the economy.

Alarm bells.

Premier Li Keqiang - who is retiring this year - warns for the third time in a week that China needs to do more to support its economy.

*Urgency* is quickly replacing *stability* as the key word for authorities this year.

3/10https://t.co/0ssAa0AoG3

— Sofia Horta e Costa (@SofiaHCBBG) April 15, 2022

To read:

Chinese economy: Beijing eases constraints on its banks

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