18 Mar 2020 -

Big troubles in China: new figures – industrial output falls, unemployment up

made in china

Industrial output declined 13.5% Jan-Feb compared to a year earlier, compared with December’s 6.9% increase, the National Bureau of Statistics said Monday.

The result was worse than the 3.0% drop expected by economists polled by The Wall Street Journal; many China experts expressed surprise that government officials were willing to report such terrible results.

Mao Shengyong, at the National Bureau of Statistics, said: “The economic development in the first two months was affected by the outbreak of Covid-19. However, from a comprehensive perspective, the impact of the viral disease is short term, external and manageable.” 

Countering this view, chief China economist Ting Lu, of Asia-headquartered financial services group, Nomura, said: “The actual shock could be much bigger than those deeply negative January-February numbers suggest, because the lockdowns started only from 23 January.”

Key points (via Reuters)

  • China’s industrial output contracted at the sharpest pace in 30 years in the first two months of the year.
  • Virus outbreak caused severe economic disruptions.
  • Could take months to normalise, fresh global worries weigh.
  • Urban investment and retail sales also fell sharply and for the first time on record.

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