China is grappling with competing demands to fight the Covid-19 epidemic and get its economy back on track, as businesses struggle to resume operations amid a shortage of workers, disrupted supply chains and sluggish demand, reported Caixin.
Industrial indicators illustrate slow resumption of economic activities, although policymakers have called for companies to restart production since last week. From Thursday to Monday, coal consumption by six major power plants supplying power to key production sectors likely fell around 49% from the comparable period last year, economists with Nomura International (Hong Kong) said.
Official estimates suggest that China’s migrant workers will make a total of around 300 million trips to return to the places they work in after the holiday, but only about 80 million trips had been made as of Friday, Liu Xiaoming, a vice minister of transportation, said on Saturday at a press conference.
Another 120 million trips will likely be made by the end of February, he said. This means about one-third of the country’s migrant workers will still not have returned to work at the beginning of March.