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China Becomes First Economy to Grow Since Virus Pandemic
05:09 on 26.8.2020

China became the first major economy to grow since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, recording an unexpectedly strong 3.2% expansion in the latest quarter after anti-virus lockdowns were lifted and factories and stores reopened.To get more economy news today, you can visit shine news official website.

Growth reported Thursday for the three months ending in June was a dramatic improvement over the previous quarter's 6.8% contraction —China's worst performance since at least the mid-1960s. But it still was the weakest positive figure since China started reporting quarterly growth in the early 1990s.

"We expect to see continuous improvement in the upcoming quarters," said Marcella Chow of JP Morgan Asset Management in a report.

China, where the coronavirus pandemic began in December, was the first economy to shut down and the first to start the drawn-out process of recovery in March after the ruling Communist Party declared the disease under control.

"The national economy shifted from slowing down to rising in the first half of 2020," the National Bureau of Statistics said in a statement.

Asian financial markets fell despite the show of strength by the region's biggest economy as investor enthusiasm following announcements about research into a possible coronavirus vaccine receded.

China's market benchmark, the Shanghai Composite Index, was down 1.4% at midday. In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 lost 0.7%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng declined 1.4% and the Kospi in South Korea fell 0.8%.

Economists say China is likely to recover faster than some other major economies due to the ruling Communist Party's decision to impose the most intensive anti-disease measures in history.

Those cut off most access to cities with a total of 60 million people and suspended trade and travel — steps later imitated by some Asian and European governments as the virus spread.

Manufacturing and some other industries are almost back to normal. But consumer spending is weak due to fear of possible job losses. Cinemas and some other businesses still are closed and restrictions on travel stay in place.The pandemic is creating winners and losers," said Bill Adams of PNC Financial Services Group in a report. "Manufacturing is leading China's recovery."

In light of the latest data, Chinese leaders are "likely to keep the current policy stance largely unchanged," said Larry Hu and Xinyu Ji of Macquarie Capital in a report.

The International Monetary Fund is forecasting China's growth at 1% this year. That would be the weakest since the 1960s but better than the Fund's outlook for an 8% contraction in U.S. output and a 4.9% decline for the world.

Private sector analysts say as much as 30% of China's urban workforce, or as many as 130 million people, may have lost their jobs at least temporarily. They say as many as 25 million jobs might be lost for good this year.

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