The economy of China shrank by 6.8 percent in the first quarter of 2020 from the same period last year as a result of the corona crisis. The National Bureau of Statistics in China announced this. It is the first recorded contraction since at least 1992, when quarterly gross domestic product tracking in China began.
The slump is due to measures taken by the Chinese to curb the spread of the coronavirus, which first appeared there late last year. Factories, shopping centers and transport centers then closed their doors. The country is now fully operational again in many places.
Similar measures are now in force in many countries. They are having a devastating impact on world trade and are likely to make China’s economic recovery a long way off.
Compared to the fourth quarter of 2019, the world’s second economy plummeted by nearly 10 percent. The Chinese government has announced several measures to boost the economy.
The statistics office also released figures on industrial production and retail sales in March. Production in the sizeable Chinese economy shrank by 1.1 percent compared to a year earlier. That is much less than feared because economists expected that there would be a drop of more than 7 percent. In the first two months of this year, Chinese industrial production fell by 13.5 percent as many factories were shut down due to the outbreak.
Store sales in China plummeted nearly 16 percent year-on-year last month, after shrinking by more than 20 percent in the first two months. To combat the outbreak of the virus, shops, restaurants and nightlife in the country were closed.