Tuesday, January 19, 2021

China’s economy continued to grow last year despite COVID-19 crisis

 China was likely the world’s only major economy to expand last year even though it was the first to suffer from the coronavirus pandemic, new data show.

China’s gross domestic product — the value of all goods and services produced there — grew by 2.3 percent in 2020 as consumers and businesses gradually recovered from the COVID-19 lockdowns that took hold early in the year, the Chinese National Bureau of Statistics said Monday.

That growth was better than the 1.8 percent expansion projected for China by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which expects the US and every other major economy to post annual declines in their respective GDPs.

Economic activity in China plummeted 6.8 percent in the first three months of 2020 as the Communist Party imposed sweeping restrictions aimed at containing the new coronavirus, which first appeared in the city of Wuhan.

But the recovery ramped up throughout the rest of the year as the virus abated in China and consumers returned to malls, movie theaters and restaurants. GDP rose by 3.2 percent in the second quarter, 4.9 percent in the third quarter and 6.5 percent in the final three months of the year, Chinese officials said.