China’s economy grew faster than expected in the first three months of the year, as the country emerged from its tough Covid restrictions.
Compared to the same period last year, gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 4.5%, official figures show.
The key measure of economic activity was driven up by a boost in household spending and rising factory activity.
Beijing pledged to boost the world’s second largest economy when it lifted coronavirus measures in December.
Also on Tuesday, separate data for March showed that retail sales, the main indicator of household consumption, jumped by 10.6%, compared to a year earlier.
At the same time, output from the country’s factories rose by 3.9%, although that slightly missed forecasts.
Meanwhile, there was also evidence of a strong rebound for the country’s airline industry.
China Civil Aviation Administration data showed that more than 45 million air passenger trips were taken last month, an almost threefold increase on the same time last year.
The country resumed processing visa applications in March after announcing a major easing of restrictions.
Investors had been eagerly waiting for the figures to get clues on the strength of China’s recovery after the government lifted coronavirus measures.
Beijing has also eased a three-year-long crackdown on big technology companies and property developers.
However, one analyst told the BBC that, while the latest figures are strong, that pace of growth is unlikely to continue.
“What’s more likely to happen in the coming months is that people might get over the initial high after the reopening,” Dan Wang, chief economist at Hang Seng Bank (China) said.
“Manufacturing demand might decline, which cannot sustain a boom in exports because the global economy is slowing down rather than speeding up,” she added.
Authorities, including the People’s Bank of China, have promised to increase support for the pledged to step up support for China’s economy to help curb unemployment but are limited in what measures they can take.
Last year, China’s GDP growth slumped to one of the lowest levels in nearly half a century due to coronavirus measures.
GDP is one of the most important tools for looking at how well, or badly, an economy is doing. It helps businesses judge when to expand and hire more people, and lets governments work out how much to tax and spend.
Source : BBC News