(Yicai Global) July 22 -- China’s economic recovery in the first half was assisted by provinces in its inland central and western regions which depend less on foreign trade and as a result were not as affected by the economic fallout from the novel coronavirus, the 21st Century Business Herald reported today.
Thirteen Chinese provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities posted growth in the first half, out of 22 that have released their economic data so far, the report said. This is despite national GDP contracting by 1.6 percent in the first half, according to figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics last week.
Southwestern Guizhou province, central Hunan province, northwestern Qinghai province and northwestern Ningxia province, not previously known as drivers of the country’s economy, all reported more than 1 percent growth in the first six months of the year. Beijing’s GDP, by contrast, fell 3.2 percent over the same period.
Guizhou suffered a 10.9 percent contraction in value-added industrial output, which measures the activity of designated large enterprises with annual turnover of at least CNY20 million (USD2.8 million), in January and February amid the epidemic.
However, it was able to turn this around quickly to mount a robust recovery. Its tobacco industry climbed 7.6 percent in the four months since March from the same period last year, and its wine, beverage and refined tea industries jumped 7 percent, helping the province achieve 1.5 percent growth in the first half with a GDP of CNY798.6 billion (USD114 billion), ranking 17th nationwide so far.
Overall, the economic powerhouse of southern Guangdong province had the best performance with a GDP of CNY4.9 trillion (USD700 billion) in the first half, followed by Jiangsu province with CNY4.7 trillion. Shandong, Zhejiang, Henan and Sichuan provinces followed in third to sixth places.
Inner Mongolia’s GDP amounted to CNY770.4 billion (USD110 billion) in the first half, down 3.8 percent from a year earlier. Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region made the CNY1 billion GDP club for the first time.
Hubei province, which was the hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, also had the fastest rebound. Its economic growth fell 19.3 percent in the first half, a huge 19.9 percentage point improvement on the first quarter. Its GDP came to CNY1.7 trillion in the first half, 80 percent of its value in the same period last year.
Editor: Kim Taylor