China Saw Record 18.7% Growth In First Quarter: AFP Survey
Muhammad Irfan 28 days ago Wed 14th April 2021 | 08:50 AM
Beijing, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 14th Apr, 2021 ) :China's economy grew at a record pace during the first quarter as it rebounded from a historic contraction caused by Covid-19, and boosted by exports and domestic demand, an AFP poll of analysts found.
The world's number two economy is tipped to have expanded 18.7 percent on-year, according to the average forecast by economists from 15 institutions, having been the only major one to grow at all last year.
Analysts forecast China's gross domestic product (GDP) growth for the whole year will be 8.5 percent, markedly higher than leaders' modest target of above six percent.
"Production output grew robustly while both external and domestic demand continued to improve," she said.
The dramatic spike was also largely driven by the low base of comparison with last year, when the outbreak brought most business activity to a standstill, said Rabobank senior economist Raphie Hayat.
The prediction comes after data on Tuesday showed imports and exports continued to boom in March as the nation's recovery continued apace and demand picked up in key overseas markets as they emerged from last year's virus crisis.
This allowed enterprises, especially large ones, to bump up factory output and continue fulfilling orders, said Gene Ma, head of China research at the Institute of International Finance.
And although the country saw some local clusters in the early months of the year, these quickly came under control.
ANZ Research senior China economist Betty Wang said there has also been "buoyant activity" in the period after the Lunar New Year, with rebounding retail sales as local restrictions were lifted and domestic travel increased.
However, the urban unemployment rate rose in February, and some experts have cautioned that the rate is likely to be higher than government figures because of a high number of workers in the casual labourforce, which could weigh on the recovery in future.
While some economists expect growth to slow in the second half of the year, most are bullish about China's prospects -- largely because of the domestic Covid-19 situation.
"This will in turn speed up domestic demand recovery and prop up production," she said.
A global economic rebound will also fuel demand for China-made goods, she told AFP.
But HSBC chief China economist Qu Hongbin cautioned growth was "likely to slow in the second half of 2021 as property investment is expected to lose steam and the recovery in consumption remains gradual".