Shanghai – Most countries around the world struggle with the face of new epidemics and growing epidemics, just after a major economy has bounced back after bringing coronoviruses under control: China.
In Beijing on Monday, the country’s National Bureau of Statistics announced that the Chinese economy grew 2.3 percent last year. In contrast, the United States, Japan, and many countries in Europe are expected to face declining economic output.
China’s strength seemed unlikely a year ago, when the virus emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan. Almost as a travel and trade ground for halt, Economy shrinks 6.8 percent in January-March The first contraction in half a century, compared to the period 2019.
Since then, the economy has steadily improved, ending the year with a growth of 6.5 percent in the last three months compared to the same period in 2019. While the recovery remains uneven, factories across China are running into overdrive to fill overseas orders and cranes. Constantly busy at construction sites – booming exports and infrastructure that are expected to drive the economy in the coming year.
At the stalls of Wuhan Taiyuan Textile Market in Hubei Province, the textile factory manager has been asking for large samples of fabric to fill domestic and international garment orders. In Xuzhou Construction Machinery Group In Jiangsu Province, plants are running day and night to meet the demand for new earthquakes and pile drivers. And in Huahong Holding Group, a major exporter in framed prints and oil paintings in Zhejiang Province, profits have doubled.
“This is the only large economy that has quickly recovered from the epidemic and can run business as usual,” said Zhou Linlin, a Shanghai financier on Huhong’s board. “So all these orders from everywhere are coming to China.”
The overall resilience of China’s economy, however, masks weakness.
Jobs abound for blue collar workers, but are rare for recent college graduates with little experience. Service businesses such as hotels and restaurants performed well in large coastal cities such as Beijing and Shanghai last year, but inland provinces never made a full recovery. Manufacturers of consumer electronics or personal protective equipment have benefited from the epidemic, but exporters from poor countries devastated by the disease have not.
Zhang Shaobo, the owner of a Halloween mask factory in Yiwu, received word last March that one of his most frequent export customers in India was ill with coronavirus. By May, the man was dead. New customers in Mr. Zhang’s main markets in India and South America also stopped coming to China to see their latest products.
He left four of his 20 factory workers, and began preparing to close his shop at the wholesale market in Yiwu. With such a weak business, he said, “I’m not going to hire it.”
China’s top leader, Xi Jinping, acknowledged the economic challenges in a speech published on Friday by Qushi, the Communist Party magazine.
“Delivered in August, Mr. Xi said in the speech,” a deep adjustment is underway in the international economy, technology, culture, security and politics and a period of turbulent change has been recorded in the world. “In times to come, we face increased head and external environment of counter-current, and we must be ready to respond to a series of new risks and challenges.”
Those challenges may worsen in the coming weeks. After considerable success in naming Coronavirus, China has suffered A series of small outbreaks of late. Construction, mass testing and setting up of hospitals has brought the government fast At least 28 million people under lockdown.
Authorities have begun re-introducing a variety of health screenings that are discouraging consumers from spending money. Even before the recent outbreaks, not everyone was prosperous. Consumer confidence did not fully recover last year. Chinese families have been especially wary of big-ticket expenses, such as home remodeling projects or new furniture.
Lin Jinting, a manual laborer in Wuhan, can usually earn around $ 100 for shopkeepers while carrying heavy loads at home. Now, many are postponing major purchases, and work is rare.
He said, “I came at 8 o’clock this morning and I have no order today. ”
Keeping the virus at bay has been critical to China’s economic success in the past year. While the epidemic devastated other nations, Beijing’s aggressive top-down approach prevented the virus from spreading quickly throughout the country.
In China, there have been around 100,000 total reported cases and fewer than 5,000 deaths, mostly concentrated in Wuhan; Current outbreaks have reported about 150 cases a day. In the United States, there have been more than 220,000 cases and 3,300 daily deaths per day.
The 26-year-old saleswoman Mary Wu in Jiande, southeastern China, was only allowed to leave her apartment once every three days during the last three days of lockdown. Local schools closed to her children, ages 4 and 9. But life soon returned to normal, schools reopened and Ms. Wu and her family started eating out again.
Ms. Wu sent her older child to additional classes to ensure that she would not lose to any ground. He no longer worries about viruses.
“We all wear masks,” she said.
With the virus largely under control, Beijing has relied on its old playbook to revise the economy.
While Wuhan was still in lockdown, officials stepped in to manufacture and re-run in other areas. They provided long-haul buses to bring workers back from their home villages to factories after the Chinese New Year. State-owned banks gave special loans to factories, while many government agencies gave partial refunds of business taxes paid before the epidemic.
Already the world’s largest manufacturer, China widened its lead this year. Despite trade wars and tariffs, American and European companies turned to parts and goods in China when factories struggled to meet demand. Factories within China turned to nearby suppliers to divert imports as transoceanic supply lines became less reliable.
The label “Made in China” has been particularly popular as those trapped in their homes have been redistributed and renovated. At the Xingxing Refrigeration Factory in Taizhou, managers have not laid off workers so fast that they can keep up with the strong demand for freezer chests for those who want to store more food during the epidemic.
The consumer electronics sector is particularly strong in China, similar for white-collar and blue-collar workers. When US managers were not able to travel to China last spring to oversee tech projects, demand grew for electronics project managers who were already in China.
“Companies could find anyone they could find,” he said, with Ana-Katrina Schedletsky, chief executive of Instrumental, a remote quality monitoring system used by global brands to track and manage electronics manufacturing goes.
Beijing also increased its infrastructure spending. Every major city in China was already connected by high-speed rail lines, enough to span the continental United States seven times, but new lines were added rapidly to smaller cities last year. The new expressway severed the western western provinces. Construction companies commissioned floodlights at several locations so that work could continue around the clock.
Exports and infrastructure have increased a lot compared to last year. China’s exports rose 18.1 percent in December compared to the same month a year ago and 21.1 percent in November. Fixed-asset investment climbed 2.9 percent last year in everything from high-speed rail lines to new apartment buildings.
Both are expected to bring the economy to power in 2021.
The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences predicted last week that the country’s economy would expand by 7.8 percent this year. If it does, it will be China’s strongest performance in nine years.
Liu Yi and Coral Yang contributed to the research.