China reported that its first quarter GDP contracted by 6.8% in 2020 from a year ago as the world’s second largest economy took a huge hit from the coronavirus outbreak, data from the National Bureau of Statistics of China showed.
The contraction in the first quarter would also be the first decline since at least 1992, when official quarterly GDP records started, according to Reuters.
Analysts polled by Reuters had predicted China’s GDP would shrink by 6.5% in the January to March quarter, compared to a year ago. The forecasts from 57 analysts polled ranged from a 28.9% contraction to a 4% expansion. China’s economy grew 6% in the previous quarter, from September to December 2019.
China’s first quarter GDP fell 9.8% as compared to the fourth quarter of 2019, data from the bureau showed. In the first quarter, retail sales in China fell 19% from a year ago while industrial production fell 8.4% in the same period, it said.