China’s GDP expands 2.5 percent in H1

China's gross domestic product expanded 2.5 percent year-on-year in the first half of 2022, while GDP grew 0.4 percent year-on-year in the second quarter, mainland authorities announced on Friday.

However, there was a 2.6 percent drop in second quarter GDP compared with the previous quarter.

Full or partial lockdowns were imposed in major centres across the country in March and April, including the commercial hub Shanghai. Many of those curbs have since been lifted, and June data has offered signs of improvement.

"Domestically, the impact of the epidemic is lingering," the National Bureau of Statistics said in a statement, noting shrinking demand and disrupted supplies.

"The risk of stagflation in the world economy is rising" as well, the statement added, saying that external uncertainties are growing.

The latest economic figures pulled Beijing further away from its annual growth target of 5.5 percent according to Societe Generale's Chief Economist for Asia, Wei Yao, who described the target as unattainable.

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"With this 0.4 percent year-on-year growth in Q2, achieving 5.5 percent target by the government is completely a mission impossible now. Even four percent is going to be almost impossible," she told RTHK.

But she noted that data from June showed a faster pace of recovery in activity as consumers unleashed their pent-up demand.

Data on June activity showed that China's industrial output grew 3.9 percent in June from a year earlier, quickening from a 0.7 percent rise in May.

Retail sales, on the other hand, rose 3.1 percent from a year ago in June and marked the quickest growth in four months, after authorities lifted a two-month lockdown in Shanghai.

"Now the key is whether such demand can sustain," Yao added. (RTHK/Agencies)
Last updated: 2022-07-15 HKT 12:55

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