China’s economy shrank in the first three months of 2020, its first contraction since 1992, as production and spending were frozen by the country’s coronavirus lockdown.
The National Bureau of Statistics reported that gross domestic product fell by 6.8 percent during the first quarter.
The sharp contraction reflects the weakness in consumer spending and investor confidence while the novel coronavirus has strongly impacted the economies around the world.
The economic data released showed that industrial production fell by 1.1 percent year-on-year, retail sales of consumer goods fell 19 percent, investment in fixed assets fell by 16.1 percent, and imports and exports were down by 6.4 percent — all worse than estimated.
The financial toll the coronavirus is having on the Chinese economy will be a huge concern to other countries.
Last year, China saw healthy economic growth of 6.4 percent in the first quarter, a period when it was locked in a trade war with the US.