China first-quarter GDP grew 4.5% year-on-year, above expectations

April 17, 2023 | 07:00 pm PT
China first-quarter GDP grew 4.5% year-on-year, above expectations
People walk at a subway station during evening rush hour in Beijing, China January 16, 2023. Photo by Reuters
China's economy grew at a faster than expected clip in the first quarter, official data showed on Tuesday, expanding 4.5% year-on-year, as policymakers move to bolster growth following the end of strict Covid curbs in December.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected gross domestic product (GDP) to expand 4.0% from a year earlier, quickening from 2.9% in the fourth quarter.

On a quarter-by-quarter basis, GDP grew 2.2% in January-March, data released by the National Bureau of Statistics showed, compared with expectations for a 2.2% increase and a revised 0.6% rise in the previous quarter.

Recent data suggest the economy is rebounding after disruptions caused by the sudden lifting of Covid-19 curbs in December, led by consumption, services and infrastructure, but easing inflation and surging bank savings are raising questions over the strength of domestic demand.

The government has set a modest target for economic growth of around 5% for this year, after badly missing the 2022 goal.

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