The start of 2021 has witnessed the Chinese economy’s further rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic, as key indicators post robust growth in the first two months of the year.
The figures for industrial output, services production, retail sales and foreign trade of goods all expanded over 30 percent during the period, data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed on Monday.
Thanks to efforts in coordinating epidemic control and prevention and economic and social development, more positive factors shoring up economic recovery have cumulatively emerged, contributing to the economic performance of the January-February period, said Liu Aihua, NBS spokesperson, at a press conference on Monday.
She noted that the increasing demand abroad, the stay-put policy’s boost to industrial production during the Spring Festival and last year’s low economic indicators due to the pandemic also give rise to the substantial growth during the period.
The Chinese government’s timely and effective policies have played a vital role in stabilizing market confidence, ensuring economic growth, and helping various market entities tide over difficulties together, Yang Guangpu, an associate research fellow on macroeconomics at the Development Research Center of the State Council, told the People’s Daily.
China's economic recovery gathered steam with the rapid growth in domestic production. In the first two months, the country’s value-added industrial output rose 35.1 percent year-on-year, according to the latest data released by the NBS. It had fallen 13.5 percent during the same period last year. The Index of Services Production expanded 31.1 percent year-on-year, compared to a 13 percent contraction at the same time last year.
“The recovery of industrial production largely reflects orderly resumption of production after the epidemic has been basically controlled,” Dai Mi, an associate professor of the Business School in Beijing Normal University, told the People’s Daily, adding that the stay-put policy during this Spring Festival holiday led to faster resumption of work and production than previous years.
Domestic demand has also seen significant recovery, with retail sales of consumer goods registering 6,974 trillion yuan ($1,073 trillion), up 33.8 percent, and fixed-asset investment reaching 4,524 trillion yuan, up 35 percent.
Another highlight of the economic performance noted by Dai is growing exports, which surged 50.1 percent in the first two months of the year. The total foreign trade of goods grew 32.2 percent, reaching 5.44 trillion yuan. The stunning export growth is related to quick work resumption and an increase in market demand due to the recovery of the European and American economies, Dai said.
Yang said that with the roll-out of vaccines, the pandemic is expected to reach a turning point, and expectations for the accelerated recovery of the world economy have increased. Global trade and investment are recovering quickly, backing the rapid growth of China's foreign demands.
2021 is the first year of the 14th Five-Year-Plan period, and also the starting point of a new journey toward fully building a modern socialist country. China has targeted economic growth of over 6 percent for 2021, according to the government work report.
In addition to maintaining economic growth within a reasonable range, it is more important to promote the rational transformation of the economic structure and the high-quality development of the economy, said Dai.
Yang underlined timely efforts to accelerate reform and innovation and the normalization of macroeconomic policies, and further consolidate the endogenous driving force for high-quality economic development in the country.