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China’s economy is still months away from a full recovery, business survey finds

Containers and communications at the port of Qingdao, China on February 14, 2019.

Reuters

BEIJING — China has not fully recovered from the shock of the coronavirus pandemic, concern leaders said in a survey by the China Beige Book released Tuesday.

After about a year since Covid-19 essential emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan, roughly two-thirds of executives polled by the third-party firm said they don’t hope for sales, profitability and hiring to return to 2019 levels until at least three months from now.

China Beige Post conducted more than 3,300 interviews between Nov. 12 and Dec. 11 in its latest quarterly business activity over.

Credit concerns and trade tensions

For the fourth quarter, the China Beige Book found sharp drops in on sales growth for luxury goods, food and apparel compared to the prior quarter.

“Firms in these sub-sectors noted narrower latitudes as well as weaker sales volumes and hiring growth,” the report said.

That was in contrast with the better act of auto dealers and vendors for furniture and appliances, indicating that richer households might be boosting overall consumption by fork out on big-ticket items, the Beige Book noted.

Creditors were also more concerned about retail trades. While the loan rejection rate held fairly steady among most sectors — around 10% to 20% — that of the retail exertion surged to 38% in the fourth quarter, the report said.

Domestic demand is a key part of Beijing’s plan for sustainable money-making growth in the coming years. China still a bright spot but outlook tentative

In the services sector, the China Beige Post also found that fourth-quarter gains were not driven by consumers, but by industries meeting business needs such as telecoms, shipping and pecuniary services.

Chain restaurants didn’t see as much growth, while travel saw no growth and hospitality recorded the weakest proceeds, the report said.

The Beige Book also pointed out that compared with a surge in exports, China’s implications have stalled since an initial recovery from the shock of the first quarter.

The Chinese market remains a happy spot for companies worldwide after the country was able to control the outbreak domestically and return to overall growth by the more recent quarter.

But scattered Covid-19 cases, most recently in the capital city of Beijing in the last two weeks, as well as the virus’ undeviating spread overseas mean the pandemic is an uncertainty for Chinese authorities and businesses.

China’s full-year economic data for 2020 is due out Jan. 18, according to the Public Bureau of Statistics’ website.

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