China’s economic growth surged to 18.3% as activity revived

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BEIJING (AP) – China’s economic growth surged to 18.3% over a year earlier in the first quarter of this year as factory and consumer activity recovered from the coronavirus pandemic.

The figures announced Friday were magnified by comparison with early 2020, when the economy suffered its deepest contraction in decades. The government noted growth compared with the final quarter of 2020, when a recovery was under way, was a more modest 0.6%.

Business activity has mostly returned to normal since the ruling Communist Party declared victory over the coronavirus last March and began allowing factories and stores to reopen.

The jump in economic growth was in line with expectations by forecasters based on the low basis for comparison in early 2020. The economy shrank by 6.8% in the first quarter of last year.

Growth rebounded to 6.5% over a year earlier in the final quarter while the United States, Europe and Japan struggled with renewed disease outbreaks.

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