While Washington and Brussels are looking for each other through stimulus plans and unclear vaccine strategies, Beijing is showing a vigorous trend at the end of the first quarter of 2021. The current recovery in Chinese growth, the result of a successful strategy against Covid- 19, is the product of its domestic demand, its turbo and main support in times of restriction of world trade.
With 1.4 billion inhabitants, or 18.7% of the world population, the Middle Empire saw its GDP jump by 18.3% at the end of the first quarter of 2021, a level not recorded since 1992, at the start of its quarterly publications. Driven by the increase in domestic demand (in March, retail sales rose 34.2% year on year) and exports of manufacturing products (electronic components, medical products), Beijing has returned to the situation before crisis. Already, in the last quarter of 2020, the GDP of the second largest economy in the world had increased by 6.5%, ending three quarters of decline of 6.5% linked to the containment measures taken the day after the outbreak of the pandemic.
The world’s second-largest economy is expected to grow 8.6% this year, according to analysts polled by Reuters, after rising 2.3% last year, the weakest in 44 years, but which has made China the only large economy to avoid a contraction in its GDP. The unemployment rate, of 5.3% in March, brings President Xi Jinping closer to full employment. Western Observers who doubt these statistics recall, like the Journal Le Monde, that Beijing does not count unemployment in rural areas. Nonetheless, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is counting on an 8.4% increase in the GDP of the world’s second-largest economy, which is much stronger optimism than the wise people at the helm of the Communist Party, who form their consensus around 6%.