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China's 2022 first quarter results: 7 key things we learnt

Even though China's economy grew at 4.8 per cent, there are 'significant difficulties and challenges'.

China first quarter results 7 key things we learnt
Beijing, First Published Apr 18, 2022, 9:02 AM IST

China on Monday morning released its first-quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) data which revealed that the country's economy grew by 4.8 per cent in the first quarter of 2022 and 1.3 per cent from the fourth quarter of 2021 at constant prices. Even though the GDP growth has been higher than expected it does not take into account the impact of severe Covid-induced lockdowns in Shenzhen and Shanghai.  

Let's take a look at some of the takeaways from the first quarter data:

* The urban unemployment rate was higher in March to 5.8 per cent compared to 5.5 per cent in February. The unemployment rate among the 16-24 age group is as high as 16 per cent.

* According to China's National Bureau of Statistics spokesman Fu Linghui, economic development is facing significant difficulties and challenges considering that the domestic and international environment is becoming increasingly complicated and uncertain.

* Industrial production is down from 7.5 per cent in combined figures for January and February but has grown by 5 per cent in March, year on year. 

* Retail sales fell by 3.5 per cent in March, year on year. The combined figure for January and February was 6.8 per cent. This is Beijing's first contraction since July 2020.

* Expenditure on items like infrastructure, equipment, machinery and property rose by 9.3 per cent in the first quarter.

* Resurgence of Covid has disrupted consumption. Social consumer goods retail sales fell 3.5 per cent in the first quarter of the year.

* The data does not capture the impact of severe Covid-induced lockdowns in Shenzhen and Shanghai. According to reports citing experts, around 45 cities that are responsible for 40 per cent of China's GDP were under complete or partial lockdowns.

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