China’s gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 7.9% in the second quarter compared to last year, its National Bureau of Statistics said Thursday. The growth rate slowed by more than half from the first three months of 2021.
In the first quarter, China’s economy saw an unprecedented growth of 18.3%. Despite the slowdown in the second quarter, the statistics bureau stated that “China’s economy sustained a steady recovery” in its press release. It noted, however, that concerns still exists over the further spread of the pandemic and over “unbalanced” economic recovery.
Meanwhile, the country’s retail sales beat forecasts, climbing 12.1% in June against 2020. The fastest-growing sector was beverages, soaring 29.1% year-on-year, while industrial production increased by 8.3%.
Among the biggest drivers for the Chinese economy in the second quarter were exports, with the country’s major trading partners easing lockdowns and vaccination measures picking up globally. China’s customs agency recently announced that exports rose by a hefty 32.2% in June, while imports surged by 43%.
In an attempt to drag the domestic economy from its post-pandemic limbo, Chinese authorities have recently promised an increase in support for companies that suffered from the surge in commodity prices, mostly small businesses but ones which nonetheless contribute to the majority of GDP growth, tax revenue and jobs.
According to China’s State Council, there were a total of about 139 million small individually run businesses as of the end of April.
In a separate move keep the economic recovery thriving, the country’s central bank slashed the reserve requirement ratio of commercial lenders by half. The cut took effect on Thursday.
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