The Chinese economic recovery slowed slightly in the second quarter of the year but appeared more resilient and balanced as domestic demand beat expectations.

Gross domestic product rose 7.9% in the quarter ended in June, in line with forecasts, and nearly 13% in the first half, compared to the same period of 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic hit.

Industrial output was up 8.9% in the quarter, exceeding forecasts, as did retail sales, which increased by 13.9%, the National Bureau of Statistics said Thursday.

China now looks largely on track to meet the government’s official 6% growth target for this year, according to analysts. The Chinese central bank last week lowered its reserve requirements for the country’s banks in order to help them support the recovery.

The country’s customs office said earlier this week that imports in June had increased by 37%, a much faster pace than the 32% increase of Chinese goods exports.

The Chinese central bank last week cut its reserve requirements for the country’s banks, to help them support businesses during the recovery

The outlook: China’s growth may seem to slow in the second half of the year because of base effects, when the economy’s performance will be compared to the same period of 2020. But the current recovery looks more sustainable than forecast, possibly alleviating the need for further government or central bank stimulus.

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