camila July 15, 2021

BEIJING (REUTERS) – China’s economy grew more slowly than expected in the second quarter, official data showed on Thursday (July 15), as higher raw material costs hurt factory activity and new Covid-19 outbreaks curbed consumer spending.

Gross domestic product (GDP) expanded 7.9 per cent in the April-June quarter from a year earlier, compared with expectations for a rise of 8.1 per cent in a Reuters poll of economists.

Growth slowed significantly from a record 18.3 per cent expansion in the January-March period, when the year-on-year growth rate was heavily skewed by the Covid-induced slump in the first quarter of 2020.

While the world’s second-largest economy has rebounded strongly from the Covid-19 crisis, data releases in recent months have pointed to some loss of momentum. Investors are watching to see if the central bank is shifting to an easier policy stance after it announced last week it would cut the amount of cash that banks must hold as reserves.

On a quarterly basis, GDP expanded 1.3 per cent in the April-June period, the National Bureau of Statistics said, beating expectations for a 1.2 per cent rise in the Reuters poll.

The economy grew a revised 0.4 per cent in the first quarter from the fourth quarter last year.