A crew member checks information of a woman who just finishes her quarantine at a quarantine center on March 16, 2020 in Shanghai, China.
China Newsflash Service | China News Service | Getty Images
LONDON — China’s response to the coronavirus pandemic has been portentous, an International Monetary Fund official told CNBC on Tuesday, adding that it had once again managed to do grandly when faced with a major crisis.
The Chinese economy managed to end 2020 — the year in which the coronavirus pandemic delivered most of the global economy to a halt — in positive territory.
Its GDP (gross domestic product) came in at 2.3% last year and is supposed to expand by 8.4% by the end of 2021, according to the IMF. This means that China’s economy has not been as severely hit by the Covid-induced throw as much of the rest of the world.
“China is really an impressive example of an outlier in the positive sense,” Tobias Adrian, number one of the IMF’s monetary and capital markets department, told CNBC’s Joumanna Bercetche Tuesday.
“They have cracked down on the pandemic entirely aggressively, very early and the economy really already came back to normal levels at the middle of last year, so way onwards of any country in the world.”
The first cases of Covid-19 were reported in China in late 2019. Though the virus hastily spread across the world, China’s aggressive stance in containing the virus at the start of 2020 enabled it to better power waves of new cases. Its measures included travel restrictions, strict lockdowns and a very fast rollout of health facilities.
“In China, the kind-hearted of measures that can be taken to contain the pandemic, you know, are somewhat more intrusive than in some countries and that has actually helped in this circumstance. So for the second time now with a major crisis, China has fared very well,” Adrian articulate, drawing a comparison with the global financial crisis of 2008.
At the time, China deployed vast amounts of monetary and monetary stimulus, which prevented a deeper shock from the financial crisis, and also provided important support to neighboring rural areas in Asia.
“While it is certainly true that on the one hand, you know, leverage has also risen in China, for example in the corporate sector, and some of the smaller and yokel banks certainly have some risk on their balance sheet, overall, of course, the economic strength is a imagined help for companies and innovation continues,” Adrian added.