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China In-Focus — Asian giant’s GDP up 4.8% in first quarter; Drop in home sales; Rebound in gasoline exports

RIYADH (Reuters) – China’s gross domestic product rose 4.8% year on year in the first quarter of 2022 as the economic powerhouse defied forecasts amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bureau said. National Statistics.

Earlier forecasts from Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs had suggested that China’s GDP would not grow beyond 4.4% in the first quarter of 2022.

Despite this figure, Goldman Sachs predicts that China’s annual growth for the year will be below the government’s target of 4.5%.

Chinese home sales plummet

Home sales in China fell 29% in March, according to a report by Evergrande Group, Bloomberg reported.

He said the country’s latest Covid outbreak has negatively impacted property sales in Asia’s biggest economy.

Containers skip Singapore due to delays in China

To save time from delays at Chinese ports, containers and ships are increasingly avoiding stopping at Singapore, Asia’s biggest refueling hub.

According to preliminary data released by the Maritime Port Authority, a total of 3,020 ships stopped in Singapore for refueling in March 2022, and that was 441 less than a year earlier.

The port of Singapore and its petrochemical plants at sunset (Getty)

Rebound in Chinese gasoline exports

China’s gasoline exports jumped in March from the previous two months as refiners struggled to ease inventory pressure amid tepid domestic demand, according to data from the General Administration of Customs.

However, the volume exported was 26% lower than a year earlier, due to the reduction in export quotas.

China shipped 1.16 million tons of gasoline last month. This compared to 1.02 million tonnes in February and 1.56 million tonnes in March 2021.

The daily average in March was 37,419 tonnes, down from 31,864 in the previous two months, the first to be affected by quota cuts.

Diesel exports hit 670,000 tonnes in March, up from a seven-year low in February, but still 76% below the 2.81 million tonnes a year earlier.

China steps up financial support for industries hit by COVID outbreaks

China will step up financial support to industries, businesses and people affected by COVID-19 outbreaks, the central bank said Monday.

Authorities will guide financial institutions to expand lending and channel profits to the real economy, the central bank said in a statement posted on its website.

Financial institutions should appropriately purchase local government bonds to support infrastructure investment, the central bank said.

(With contributions from Reuters)