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China's April industrial production down 2.9% on Omicron impact

2022/5/16 13:54:56   source:Global Times

China's April industrial production contracted by 2.9 percent year-on-year, while retail sales were down 11.1 percent, as effects of Omicron flareups' disruptions on the economy further deteriorated.

Industrial production contracted by 2.9 percent in April, down from a growth of 5 percent in March and lower than market expectations, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

For the January-April period, industrial production slowed down to 4 percent from a 6.5-percent-increase recorded in the January-March period.

As the COVID-19 epidemic dealt a large impact to the economy in April, the effects are temporary and external, and Chinese economy's fundamentals remain positive and the trend of high-quality development remains unchanged, said Fu Linghui, spokesperson for the NBS.

Growth in the energy and basic industries was unable to offset a marked slowdown in manufacturing, which was hard hit in April featuring sharp decrease in the auto sector, among others.

The growth was the weakest in over two years, as the April economy was faced with "unprecedented downward headwinds since the first quarter of 2020" due to COVID-19 flareups, supply chain snags and external uncertainties arising from the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Vital localities for industrial production, including manufacturing hub Shanghai and Northeast China's Jilin Province, entered "static management" to combat the COVID-19 from March and stretched into April.

As Shanghai "paused" for the month, supply chains in the Yangtze River Delta -- accounting for one-fourth of China's GDP -- were also affected.

However, Fu said as the weather warms up, and the domestic COVID situation comes under control, the economy is expected to see improved performance in May.

Shanghai and Jilin were already in the process to resume work and production and recovering their economy, Fu said.

China's GDP grew by 4.8 percent in the first quarter of 2022.

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