China’s economy beat market expectations to grow 4.5% year-on-year in the first quarter, the German Press Agency quoted the National Bureau of Statistics as saying on Tuesday, in a sign that activity is picking up after the abandonment of harsh COVID-19 restrictions late last year.

The consensus among analysts had been for GDP to increase 4% in the first three months of the year. In the last quarter of 2022, the economy expanded by 2.9%.

On a seasonally adjusted quarter-on-quarter basis, GDP gained 2.2% – matching forecasts following the flat reading in the previous quarter.

There have been concerns about whether the world’s second-largest economy would flourish after nearly three years of COVID-19 isolation and tough anti-infection measures were suddenly dropped in December, or if disruptions to the industry would linger.

The bureau said that industrial production was up 3.9% on year in March, missing expectations for 4% but still up from 2.4% in February.

Retail sales jumped an annual 10.6%, beating forecasts for 7.4% and up from 3.5% in the previous month.

Fixed asset investment rose 5.1% year on year, shy of expectations for 5.7% and down from 5.5% a month earlier.

The jobless rate came in at 5.3%, beneath forecasts for 5.5% and down from 5.6% in February.

Source: Saudi Press Agency