Chinese economic activity is expected to deteriorate sharply in March due to Covid-19 restrictions put in place affecting factories and consumers, reports Reuters. First quarter growth, however, is expected to have perked up after a strong early start to the year. Data on Monday is expected to show gross domestic product (GDP) grew 4.4% in January-March from a year earlier, a Reuters poll showed, outpacing the fourth-quarter’s 4.0% pace due to a surprisingly solid start in the first two months.
But on a quarterly basis, GDP growth is forecast to fall to 0.6% in the first quarter from 1.6% in October-December, the poll showed, pointing to cooling momentum.
Separate data on March activity, especially retail sales, is likely to show an even sharper slowdown, analysts say, hit hard by China’s strict efforts to contain its biggest COVID outbreak since the coronavirus was first discovered in the city of Wuhan in late 2019.
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