BEIJING, Sept. 17 (Xinhua) -- China's economy has lately continued its strong recovery from the damage caused by the COVID-19 epidemic as key economic indicators point to a stabilizing growth trend and a steady rebound in domestic demand.
The stronger-than-expected recovery has prompted some economists to raise their forecast of China's growth for the rest of the year, and experts say that the country's robust recovery will be a crucial stabilizer for the global economy.
The following is a timeline of key moments that witnessed an accelerated pace of resumption across the board through important economic indicators.
-- On April 13, data released by the China Construction Machinery Association showed that excavator sales, an important indicator of infrastructure development, hit a record high of 49,408 in March, up 11.6 percent year on year, as the novel coronavirus has been largely contained in China and production resumed in companies and factories at an accelerated pace.
-- On May 11, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said at an online press conference that the country's automobile market, which was hit hard due to the COVID-19 epidemic, started to recover in April, thanks to unleashed pent-up demand and encouraging policies, with sales rising 4.4 percent year on year. This ended a contraction streak over the past 21 months.
-- On May 15, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that China's value-added industrial output, an important economic indicator, recorded expansion for the first time after the COVID-19 outbreak as factory activities gradually recovered. Value-added industrial output went up 3.9 percent year on year in April, rebounding from the 1.1-percent drop in March and 13.5-percent slump in the first two months of the year.
-- On July 14, the General Administration of Customs said China registered better-than-expected foreign trade performance in the first half of the year, with exports and imports rising in June, as the country's economic recovery gathered momentum amid further containment of COVID-19.
The country saw foreign trade rise 5.1 percent year on year in June, with exports and imports up 4.3 percent and 6.2 percent respectively.
-- On July 16, the NBS announced that China's gross domestic product (GDP) expanded 3.2 percent year on year in the second quarter of 2020, bouncing back from the 6.8-percent contraction in the first quarter, as the country gradually resumed work and production after the COVID-19 epidemic was contained.
-- By Aug. 17, the maximum electrical load nationwide hit 1.08 billion kW, up 24 million kW from the highest level last year, reflecting sound momentum of the economic recovery, according to the National Development and Reform Commission.
-- On Aug. 31, NBS data showed that the purchasing managers' index (PMI) for China's non-manufacturing sector stood at 55.2 in August, up from 54.2 in July. The non-manufacturing PMI has remained above 50 for six months in a row, indicating improved domestic demand as the country's economic recovery continues to gather pace.
-- On Sept. 15, NBS data revealed that retail sales of consumer goods, a main gauge of China's consumption, grew for the first time this year, rising 0.5 percent year on year in August, in the latest sign that consumer spending was catching up with the country's wider economic recovery.
Fixed-asset investment edged down 0.3 percent year on year in the first eight months, narrowing from a fall of 1.6 percent posted in the January-July period, according to the NBS.
-- On Sept. 17, the central parity rate of the Chinese currency renminbi, or the yuan, extended gains to hit a new high in 16 months against the U.S. dollar, giving evidence of the resilience and long-term prospects of the Chinese economy.
The yuan strengthened 150 pips to 6.7675 against the U.S. dollar, the strongest level since May 9, 2019, according to the China Foreign Exchange Trade System. Enditem