China’s growth surges to 18.3% but rebound leveling off

Joe Mcdonald
Associated Press

Beijing — Morgan Asset Management in a report. “The focus should be on consumption data, which kept improving in March in comparison with the previous month.”

Spending on restaurants jumped 75.8% over a year ago, a period when most were closed for weeks. Online retail sales rose 29.9%.

Overall growth shrugged off the impact of a government appeal to China’s public to avoid travel during February’s Lunar New Year holiday, usually the busiest travel and consumer spending period.

A worker installs new traffic lights at a junction in Beijing on Thursday, April 15, 2021.

The International Monetary Fund and private sector forecasters expect economic growth to rise further this year to above 8%. The ruling party’s official growth target for the year is “above 6%.”

Still, some warn a Chinese recovery still isn’t certain because global demand is weak as some governments re-impose anti-disease curbs that are disrupting business and trade.

March exports, reported earlier, rose 30.6% over a year earlier as global consumer demand revived. Exports to the United States jumped 53.6% despite tariff hikes still in place on Chinese goods in a trade war launched by former President Donald Trump.

Exporters and high-tech manufacturers face uncertainty about how President Joe Biden, who succeeded Trump in January, will handle conflicts over trade, technology and security. Biden says he wants better relations with Beijing but has given no sign tariff hikes or sanctions on Chinese companies including tech giant Huawei will be rolled back.