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China’s path to normalisation in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic

Alexander Al-Haschimi, Apostolos Apostolou and Martino Ricci

Economic Bulletin Articles, 2020, vol. 6

Abstract: This article will trace the decline and subsequent recovery of China’s economy following the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19). It employs high-frequency data to assess the speed at which activity in different sectors of the economy is normalising after businesses were allowed to resume operations. One particular focus will be on differentiating between the industrial and services sectors, which are subject to different health and safety measures. The article finds that China’s economic activity rose from a trough of around 20% of normal levels in February 2020 to 90% in the span of just three months. While production capacity recovered swiftly, activity normalised more gradually in the services sector, where COVID-19 containment measures had continued to weigh heavily. The recovery was driven primarily by private domestic demand and the authorities’ policy response, as the normalisation in China coincided with the implementation of lockdown measures by many of its trading partners and hence also with a fall in external demand. Looking ahead, uncertainty and risks surrounding the recovery path remain exceptionally high, owing in large part to the uncertainty regarding how the COVID-19 pandemic will develop and if and when a medical solution to the virus can be found. JEL Classification: E2, E5, E6, F1, G1

Keywords: China; economic impact; pandemic; path to normalisation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020-09
Note: 2338703
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