China Manufacturing, Retail, Investment Suffer Historic Slump
Monday, 16 March 2020 09:45 WIB | ECONOMY |ekonomi China

China suffered an even deeper slump than analysts feared at the start of the year as the coronavirus shuttered factories, shops and restaurants across the nation, underscoring the economic fallout now facing the global economy as the virus spreads around the world.

Industrial output plunged 13.5% in January and February from a year earlier, versus a median estimate for a 3% contraction. Retail sales fell 20.5% in the period, compared to a projected 4% fall. Fixed-asset investment dropped 24.5%, versus a forecast 2% decline. The unemployment rate jumped to 6.2%, the highest on record.

Gross domestic product is now all but certain to contract in the first quarter compared to the same period last year -- the first time that has happened since comparable data begins in 1989.

The outbreak of deadly viral pneumonia in Wuhan dramatically worsened in January, prompting China to lockdown Hubei province, extend holidays and restrict travel and business across the country. That brought much of the nation™s economy activity to a halt in February, undercutting a stabilizationseen in December.

While there are increasing signs that companies and people are getting back to work in March, the economy is still not back to normal.

Even as governments in China and some other Asian nations look to be getting their outbreaks under control, the coronavirus is now spreading rapidly in Europe, the U.S. and other parts of the world. That will likely hit demand for Chinese exports, extending the damage to firms and the economy.

The People™s Bank of China bank acted again on Friday to support the economy, providing banks more money to lend by cutting the amount of cash they must place in reserve at the central bank. That takes effect Monday.

The data is released on a combined basis to account for the normal seasonal volatility around the Lunar New Year holiday.

Source : Bloomberg

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