The rise of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has put short-term downward pressure on China’s economy since March, but the economy’s strong long-term fundamentals will not change, a senior official said. from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said.
China’s economy is off to a steady start this year, with GDP up 4.8% YoY in the first quarter and relatively low inflation, which has been quite good and ranked among the top economies major, according to Sheng Laiyun, deputy director of the NBS.
Hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, leading economic indicators fell significantly in March, while leading economic indicators such as the PMI continued to weaken in April, indicating that downward pressure on the economy grew further.
However, the value added of high-tech manufacturing beyond the designated size rose 13.8% year-on-year in March, and the production index of information transmission, software and technology services of information increased by 12.8%, according to the official.
“It shows that although the current economic growth has slowed down, the trend towards high-quality development has not changed,” Sheng said.
Shanghai Municipality and Jilin Province are among the most affected regions. In March, the value added of industries above the designated size in Shanghai and Jilin fell 10.9% and 36.7% year-on-year respectively, and retail sales fell 18.2% and 69 .9% respectively.
After effective COVID-19 control measures and pro-growth policies gradually yield expected effects, China’s economic performance will improve, with economic activities suppressed by the pandemic to be released, according to NBS official .
“During the whole year, there may still be a lot of difficulties and challenges. But the stable and healthy fundamentals of the Chinese economy will not change in the long term,” Sheng said.
In terms of supply, China’s total grain output has held steady at over 650 billion kilograms for seven consecutive years, while manufacturing industry value added has ranked first in the world for 12 consecutive years. .
For demand, the country has a population of 1.41 billion and has a domestic market with the biggest growth potential in the world, Sheng said. After reaching a moderately prosperous society, the consumption upgrade is accelerating, and the very large market has obvious advantages, Sheng added.
China also has plenty of tools in the policy toolbox, with a low deficit ratio and controllable overall debt, the SNB official said. It has already adopted multi-pronged fiscal measures in tax and fee reductions, public budget spending and bond issuance to stabilize the economy and ensure the welfare of its people.
Due to the impact of the pandemic, rising commodity prices have driven up costs for businesses, while market demand is struggling to be fully unleashed. Under pressure from both production and demand, businesses are facing increasing difficulties in production and operation, with smaller businesses more vulnerable to risk.
The country is rolling out detailed policies and measures to help industries, sole proprietorships, and micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises hit hard by the pandemic, and to stabilize market entities.
It will unwaveringly adhere to the aggressive zero COVID policy while strengthening the economy and ensuring that people’s lives are affected as little as possible, according to the NBS official.