China’s economy grows 5.3% in first quarter to beat expectations

(16 Apr 2024)

Beijing, China – 16 April 2024
1. Wide of press conference
2. Mid of reporter asking question
3. Mid of spokespersons
4. SOUNDBITE (Mandarin) Sheng Laiyun, Deputy Commissioner of the National Bureau of Statistics:
“It is precisely because the economy continues to recover, moves steadily and makes steady progress that a good start has been achieved. From the main indicators of economic operation, we can see that the stability and coordination of economic operation have improved, market vitality has been enhanced, and the confidence of market players continues to improve.”
5. Mid of reporters asking question
6. Mid of cameraperson
7. SOUNDBITE (Mandarin) Sheng Laiyun, Deputy Commissioner of the National Bureau of Statistics:
“Looking at the degree of recovery, we have found that the recovery of consumption is not as good as production, and the recovery of small- and medium-sized enterprises is not as good as that of large enterprises, so there is a clear imbalance in economic recovery.”
8. Mid of reporter asking question
9. Close of reporters
10. SOUNDBITE (Mandarin) Sheng Laiyun, Deputy Commissioner of the National Bureau of Statistics
“The investment and sales of real estate in the first quarter is indeed not very optimistic. The real estate market is still in the process of adjustment.”
11. Close of reporter asking question
12. Close of reporters
13. SOUNDBITE (Mandarin) Sheng Laiyun, Deputy Commissioner of the National Bureau of Statistics:
“I believe that our policies should continue to increase support for the real economy. In addition to overall support, we should pay more attention to the economic imbalance, accelerate the cultivation of new industries, and especially promote technological innovation.”
14. Close of reporters
15. Wide of press conference
China’s economy expanded at a pace faster than expected in the first three months of the year, helped by policies aimed at stimulating growth and stronger demand, the government said Tuesday.

The world’s second-largest economy expanded at a 5.3% annual pace in January-March, beating analysts’ forecasts of about 4.8%, official data show. Compared to the previous quarter, the economy grew 1.6%.

China’s economy has struggled to bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic, with a slowdown in demand and a property crisis weighing on its growth.

The better-than-expected data Tuesday came days after China reported its exports sank 7.5% in March compared to the year before, while imports also weakened.

Inflation cooled, reflecting deflationary pressures resulting from slack demand amid a crisis in the property sector.

Industrial output for the first quarter was up 6.1% compared to the same time last year, and retail sales grew at an annual pace of 4.7%.

Fixed investment, in factories and equipment, grew 4.5% compared to the same period a year earlier.

Real estate investment declined by 9.5 percent year on year, and sales of new commercial buildings went down by 27.6 percent.

Stronger growth in the region’s biggest economy normally would be seen as a positive for its neighbors, which increasingly rely on demand from China to power their own economies.

However, strong growth figures are also viewed as a signal that the government will hold back on further stimulus.

AP video shot by Borg Wong


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