Usually, official Beijing does not calculate statistics separately for January and February. They prefer combining indicators for both months. Such a calculation scheme has been introduced in order to smooth out fluctuations because the New Year celebration in China does not have fixed dates.
In terms of retail sales, the beginning of the year is usually the most active period. Unfortunately, retail sales in the first two months of the year have fallen by as much as 20.5%. Analysts have suggested that the decline is unlikely to exceed 5%. The National Bureau of Statistics of China has reported that industrial production for this period has decreased by 13.5% in annual terms. Experts did not expect this indicator to decrease by more than 3%. Both values are record high.
Such a cut in economic activity is explained by the very tough and aggressive policy of the authorities in relation to containing the spread of the coronavirus epidemic.
We recall that two months ago, the PRC authorities quarantined large cities. The work of many enterprises was stopped, and employees were forced to stay at homes.
The unemployment rate in urban areas of the PRC grew from 5.2% in December to 5.7% in February.
Since the beginning of the year, investments in fixed assets in China have decreased by almost a quarter, or rather – by 24.5%. Investment in real estate has dropped by 16.3%.
At a press conference regarding the release of reports, officials said that despite the severe blow to the economy caused by the coronavirus epidemic, the effect of quarantine was quite surmountable and temporary.
It was also noted that the fight against the spread of the disease could be called effective. It brings quite visible results, which means the restoration of normal order in the economy in the foreseeable future. Chinese analysts believe that in the second quarter, economic activity will show a significant increase.
The material was prepared with the participation of Katya Wilson,
a leading analyst of the brokerage company UFT Group