China's economy suffered its first contraction in over 40 years, shrinking 7% in an 'extraordinary shock' to the global economy
STR/AFP via Getty Images
- China's economy fell by 6.8% in the first three months of 2020, signalling gloom for the country severely impacted by the coronavirus that emerged in its central city of Wuhan and spread to the rest of the world.
- China's National Bureau of Statistics released the economic data on Friday showing major economic indicators declined across industrial production, retail sales, investments and imports and exports.
- On news of the data, American economist Nouriel Roubini remarked that the collapse in the first-quarter was "staggering," while one investor described the contraction as an "extraordinary shock."
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
China's economy shrank for the first time in almost half a century in the first three months of 2020 as production and spending were frozen by the country's coronavirus lockdown.The National Bureau of Statistics reported on Friday that gross domestic product fell by 6.8% in the first quarter of 2020, a sharp drop for China since the country first began reporting its GDP in 1992.
The sharp contraction reflects the weakness in consumer spending and investor confidence while the coronavirus has flattened economies around the world. The central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the virus first emerged, revised its death toll on Friday from 2,579 fatalities to 3,869 - a jump of about 50%.The economic data released on Friday showed that industrial production fell by 1.1% year-on-year, retail sales of consumer goods fell 19%, investment in fixed assets fell by 16.1%, imports and exports were down by 6.4% - all worse than estimated.
China was keen, however, to present positives, saying that overall national economic and social development in the first quarter was stable despite the outbreak of COVID-19."The result modestly is on the rosy side of what we believe actually happened in Q1," said Miguel Chanco, senior Asia economist at Pantheon."But the official data were very close to the reality in the grand scheme of things, and that should be welcomed, despite the damning picture they paint," he said of China's statistics.
Chanco also said that analysts at Pantheon expect a full-year contraction, although he noted that "official headlines are unlikely to show that."Read More: As the coronavirus crisis continues, more tech workers are feeling concerned about their jobs. These charts show which companies have the most angst.
American economist Nouriel Roubini remarked on Friday that the year-on-year fall of China's GDP is a "depression rate of economic collapse." Roubini noted that the start of April showed positive economic growth for the country but the collapse in the first-quarter was "staggering."
"A 6.8% drop in GDP is an extraordinary shock to the Chinese economy, and by implication the rest of the world," said Richard Pearson, director at investment platform EQi.Pearson suggested that China's data is an important indicator in considering the potential impact for the West while it is still in the throes of the pandemic. He believes the impact would be more severe on the West due to the difference in nature of government responses, which seemed to have resulted in lower recorded deaths in China.
NOW WATCH: Why electric planes haven't taken off yet
- UltraTech Cement's ₹5,477 crore expansion plan is a sign that Birla is betting on a faster economic recovery
- SBI’s mobile banking app is down for the third time in 30 days — digital services take a hit for the 25th time this year
- HCL Tech's Roshni Nadar is India's richest woman in 2020, according to Kotak Wealth Hurun India list
- Hero ISL’s viewership for the first 8 matches has grown by 16% in comparison to last year
- Reliance Infratel resolution plan approved by NCLT Mumbai – Jio to pick up the tower unit