Manufacturing activity in China, which collapsed in February, experienced a surprise rebound in March despite the coronavirus, but the World Bank is now alarmed by the risk of zero growth for the second largest economy

Manufacturing activity in China, which collapsed in February, experienced a surprise rebound in March despite the coronavirus, but the World Bank is now alarmed by the risk of zero growth for the second largest economy

(.) – The epidemic, which had serious repercussions on the production and the functioning of the companies, caused the almost total stop of the country in February, at the time when hundreds of millions of Chinese paralyzed by the virus at their home. Anti-epidemic measures have greatly disrupted transport and complicated the supply of spare parts and raw materials.

Since then, activity has resumed, thanks to a sharp slowdown in contagion and a gradual lifting of containment. However, the consequences for the economy should drag on. The rebound in manufacturing activity “does not mean a return to normal economic conditions,” warned the National Bureau of Statistics (BNS). With a struggling economy, low purchasing power and a pandemic that is now paralyzing the main trading partners of the Asian giant, the horizon is far from clear.

The consequences on the Chinese economy depend on developments in the United States and in Europe

Ma Jun, advisor to the central bank

Zero growth? And unlike what they had done during the 2008-2009 financial crisis, the Chinese leaders seem this time to dismiss a massive stimulus plan in infrastructure. At the time, China had embarked on large costly projects, often unprofitable and which weighed heavily on the finances of local governments. Priority has since been given to deleveraging.

The leaders of the main industrialized and emerging countries promised Thursday to invest $ 5,000 billion to support the global economy threatened by the coronavirus pandemic.

China, which traditionally sets a growth target in March for the current year, has yet to release a figure for 2020. And a leading economic adviser to the central bank believes the country should squarely refrain from it make. “The consequences on the Chinese economy depend mainly on the evolution of the pandemic in the United States and in Europe”, Beijing’s main trading partners, underlines this adviser, Ma Jun.

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