27.01. Experts: China's GDP growth in I quarter may slow down below 6% due to the outbreak of pneumonia
Experts note that due to the outbreak of pneumonia in China, the growth rate of the Chinese economy may slow down below 6% in the first quarter of 2020. The risk of a slowdown in GDP growth is observed amid the expected fall in consumer spending due to the current situation in the country.
The Chinese authorities in the past couple of years have relied on the development of the consumer sector, hoping that it will become the main engine of economic recovery. However, in the context of the rapidly spreading epidemic of the deadly virus, Chinese people refrain from visiting shops and public places.
Many key segments of the service sector, such as theaters, museums, and exhibitions that can attract many customers during the New Year's Eve on the Lunar calendar, have almost stopped working. In addition, in many cities, local authorities decided to suspend the operation of urban and suburban transport.
«The PRC’s economy had difficulties even before the outbreak of pneumonia, and such a large-scale crisis in the healthcare sector poses a threat of a more significant weakening of growth,» said economist Chen Gong. The expert believes that the current epidemic may cost China more than 40 billion yuan ($5.77 billion), which will take away about 1 percentage point from the country's GDP growth in 2020.