China's GDP grew by 4.5% in Q1, boosted by consumption

China’s gross domestic product grew 4.5% in the first quarter of the year, boosted by increased consumption and retail sales, after authorities abruptly abandoned the stringent “zero-COVID” strategy

Updated - April 18, 2023 06:06 pm IST

Published - April 18, 2023 08:49 am IST - BEIJING

Workers pull carts loaded with boxes past an empty storefront at a shopping and office complex in Beijing, on April 14, 2023. China’s economy grew 4.5% in the first quarter of the year, boosted by increased consumption and retail sales, after authorities abruptly abandoned the stringent “zero-COVID” strategy.

Workers pull carts loaded with boxes past an empty storefront at a shopping and office complex in Beijing, on April 14, 2023. China’s economy grew 4.5% in the first quarter of the year, boosted by increased consumption and retail sales, after authorities abruptly abandoned the stringent “zero-COVID” strategy. | Photo Credit: AP

China’s gross domestic product grew 4.5% in the first quarter of the year, boosted by increased consumption and retail sales, after authorities abruptly abandoned the stringent “zero-COVID” strategy.

The growth in the world’s No. 2 economy from January to March compared to the same period in 2022 was the fastest in the past year, and outpaced the 2.9% growth in the previous quarter, according to government data released Tuesday.

The growth in GDP comes amid a rebound in consumption, as people flocked to shopping malls and restaurants after harsh COVID-19 restrictions were removed.

Also read | China’s economy grows 3% in 2022, hit by lockdowns, Covid surge

In March, total retail sales of consumer goods went up by 10.6% year on year, and grew 7.1 percentage points compared to the first two months of the year.

Industrial production output, which measures activity in the manufacturing, mining and utilities sectors, grew by 3.9% in March compared to the same time last year.

Fixed-asset investment — in which China invests in infrastructure and other projects to drive growth — rose by 5.1% in the first three months of 2023 compared to the same period last year.

Investors are expected to scrutinize China’s first-quarter economic data for indicators of recovery following years of harsh lockdowns and a crackdown on the industries such as technology and real estate.

Earlier this year, China’s government set this year’s economic growth target at “around 5%.” Last year’s growth in the economy fell to 3%, hampered by anti-virus controls that caused snap lockdowns and kept millions at home, sometimes for weeks on end.

On Monday, China’s central bank kept rates on its one-year policy loans unchanged. Last week, it had vowed to step up support for the economy and maintain ample liquidity to support growth.

Also Read | India’s Q3 GDP growth slows to 4.4%, past data upgraded

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.