Official figures made public in a release by China on Friday have indicated a decrease of 6.8% in the country’s GDP between January and March.
This is the first economic contraction that China has seen since the capital Beijing started releasing quarterly GDP figures in 1992. Some observers and experts have judged that this is the country’s first period of negative growth in more than forty years, referring to the downturn of 1976 that marked the end of the Cultural Revolution.
This is the first economic contraction that China has seen since the capital Beijing started releasing quarterly GDP figures in 1992
This fall has been forecasted for some time, though the numbers released have shown a more critical hit than most expected; analysts at Reuter’s predicted a decline of only 6.5%. Other data released reflected an equally negative picture. Markers like retail sales, fixed-asset investment and industrial output have all seen huge regressions.
These changes are an effect of the COVID-19 epidemic, which is said to have first sprung-up in the Chinese city of Wuhan. Although China announced on April 6th that it had experienced no new coronavirus deaths for a whole day, it has since reviewed the number of recorded deaths upwards by 50%.
The republic is now taking steps towards revitalizing its economy, ending quarantine measures and reopening its factories. However, the global fall in demand for its goods is not likely to see any hurried change in the near future. This hit taken on by China’s economy is also likely to reverberate across the rest of Asia as Chinese stimulus spending is reduced. The International Monetary Fund has also warned that the world economy faces a recession that could be as damaging as the Great Depression of the 1930s.
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