(ATF) China expects its economy to bounce back from the coronavirus downturn in the second-half of the year as some indicators suggest the country is getting back to work.
A revival in power consumption, among other data, signals the emergence of the green shoots of recovery, said Liu Huan, a counsellor with the State Council, China's cabinet.
The economy will see a restoration in the second quarter as COVID-19 wanes, and more robust growth from the third quarter onwards, Liu forecast.
The pandemic took a bite out of the world’s second-largest economy, shrinking first-quarter GDP by almost 7%, the first contraction since China began opening up to free-market economics in the early 1980s.
China is a nations of 1.4 billion consumers, a built-in engine of growth to mitigate the impact of the epidemic, said Wang Zhaoxing, another counselor with the State Council.
Wang called for measures to focus on increasing high-quality products and services, as well as stabilising employment and supporting low-income people, to stimulate consumption.
Comparing thinking inside the GDP box, more attention should be paid to whether enterprises truly benefit from government policies, Liu said.
Wang suggested that efforts be made to ensure funds from fiscal and financial policies such as tax and fee cuts, lower interest loans and market liquidity injection feed directly into the real economy.
The country still has sufficient policy weaponry to tackle the downturn since inflation is not a serious concern and there is still room to lower interest rates, he said.