Hubei’s GDP drops 5% in 2020, set to stage hefty growth in 2021
Published: Jan 19, 2021 08:03 PM

Tourists pose for photos at the Happy Valley Wuhan theme park in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province, Jan. 1, 2021. People came to have fun and enjoy the view at the Happy Valley in Wuhan to greet the New Year on Friday. (Xinhua/Xiong Qi)

The economy of the coronavirus-stricken Central China's Hubei Province contracted 5 percent last year to 4.34 trillion yuan ($669.45 billion), but all major indicators have been recovering at a faster pace and consumption returned to growth in December.

The rate of economic decline narrowed greatly from the first-quarter figure of 39.2 percent plunge, when the provincial capital Wuhan experienced a stringent 76-day lockdown.

Total GDP in the first quarter last year was only 637.94 billion yuan, and nearly all major indicators showed unprecedented falls as economic activity ground to a halt.

The province has seen industrial production accelerate since COVID-19 was effectively brought under control. From January to November, profits of major enterprises in Hubei reached 225.1 billion yuan, down 9.1 percent year-on-year, but the decline rate narrowed by 69.1 percentage points from the first quarter.

The monthly growth rate of major industrial enterprises has increased for eight consecutive months, with a year-on-year rise of 7.9 percent in December, 1.8 percentage points higher than in November, according to the latest data revealed by the Hubei Provincial Bureau of Statistics.

Retail sales in 2020 fell 20.8 percent to 1.8 trillion yuan, local official data showed. But the fall narrowed by 24.1 percentage points from the first quarter. In December, retail sales edged up 0.2 percent, the first positive figure of 2020.

Foreign trade also maintained strong momentum. In 2020, the province's total yuan-denominated trade stood at 429.41 billion yuan, up 8.8 percent. Exports totaled 270.20 billion yuan, up 8.7 percent.

The economic rebound of Hubei, the worst-hit province in China, reflects the continued recovery of the domestic economy since the epidemic was effectively controlled in late April.

China's economy expanded 2.3 percent in 2020, the country's statistics bureau said on Monday, boosted by a strong recovery in the second half after consumption, investment and export all gained pace. That made China the only major economy in the world to eke out an expansion, while others contracted amid the pandemic.

Global Times