Amid the spread of COVID-19, China has recorded a negative growth in the first quarter of the year for the first time since related statistics were first officially gathered. Accordingly, the Chinese government has signaled a tough economic stimulus program.
Mao Shengyong, spokesperson of the National Bureau of Statistics of China, said in a press conference on Friday that China’s GDP decreased by 6.8 percent to 20.65 trillion yuan (approximately 3,554 trillion won) in the first quarter of the year on a year-on-year basis, marking both the lowest and the first negative figure since Beijing first announced quarterly growth rates in 1992. The Chinese economy experienced a historic drop of 12.8 percent points compared to the six percent increase during the fourth quarter of last year.
Previously, China recorded a negative yearly growth at -1.6 percent in 1976 when the Cultural Revolution drove up risks of an economic meltdown. It can repeat itself in 44 years if this year ends up with a negative growth.
“The total production decreased by 9.6 percent and 5.2 percent in manufacturing and service industries, respectively, during the first quarter of the year,” said Mao. Industrial production went down by 8.4 percent while retail sales, a barometer of consumption demand, plummeted by a whopping 19 percent.
Wan-Jun Yun email@example.com