China says GDP grew 3.2% in Q2, 'rebounding from coronavirus

Release date: 2020-07-24
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China says GDP grew 3.2% in Q2, 'rebounding from coronavirus'


China says GDP grew 3.2% in Q2, 'rebounding from coronavirus'


China reported that the country’s GDP grew by 3.2% in the second quarter of this year, compared to a year ago — beating analysts’ expectations and rebounding from the first quarter’s contraction.

It comes as lockdowns to contain the coronavirus outbreak in China eased, and as Beijing rolled out stimulus measures to prop up its economy.

Economists polled by Reuters expected gross domestic product to have grown modestly at 2.5% in the April to June quarter.

China’s first quarter GDP contracted by 6.8% in 2020 from a year ago as the world’s second largest economy took a huge hit from the coronavirus outbreak. This was the country’s first GDP decline since at least 1992, when official quarterly records started.

China’s official GDP figures are tracked as an indicator of the health of the world’s second-largest economy, but many outside experts have long expressed skepticism about the veracity of China’s reports.

“Generally speaking, the national economy overcame the adverse impact of the epidemic in the first half gradually and demonstrated a momentum of restorative growth and gradual recovery, further manifesting its development resilience and vitality,” said China’s National Bureau of Statistics in a press release on Thursday.

The Chinese government has introduced measures to boost the economy including fiscal spending and cuts in lending rates and banks’ reserve requirements — the amount of cash that lenders must hold in reserve.


Signs of recovery

Recent data out of China show some signs of recovery. Trade numbers in June showed that China’s dollar-denominated exports and imports rose. Manufacturing activity in June also expanded compared to May, two different sets of surveys showed.

Chinese exports have been getting “massive market share” while the rest of the world was locked down, said Bo Zhuang, chief China economist at TS Lombard before the data release. China started easing lockdown measures earlier than other countries.


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