Shanghai’s April economic data drop, reflecting epidemic impact
Published: May 22, 2022 02:46 PM Updated: May 22, 2022 02:44 PM
A Shanghai resident walks his golden retriever on May 16, 2022 when the city gradually resumes small businesses. Photo: Wu Chuanhua/Global Times
A Shanghai resident walks his golden retriever on May 16, 2022 when the city gradually resumes small businesses. Photo: Wu Chuanhua/Global Times

Key economic indicators in Shanghai dropped significantly in April, underscoring severe impact of the recent outbreak of COVID-19 in China's major commercial center on economic activities, latest official data showed.

Given the lingering challenges in the second quarter of 2022 due to the epidemic, experts called for proactive measures in various areas, including investment, consumption and supply chains, to stabilize growth.

In April, output of major industrial companies in Shanghai fell 61.5 percent year-on-year, compared to a 3.9 percent growth in the first quarter, and the value of industrial exports during the month dropped 57.3 percent, according to data from the Shanghai Bureau of Statistics.

Shanghai's fixed-assets investment volume in the first quarter of 2022 recorded a year-on-year decline of 11.3 percent. The investment volume in the infrastructure and industrial sectors declined by 21.4 percent and 17.7 percent, respectively, compared with the levels in 2021, showed the data.

Investment in property development during the first quarter decreased 10 percent year-on-year. Due to the anti-epidemic requirements, Shanghai's construction area of commercial building and residential building saw a year-on-year decline of 47.1 percent and 38 percent, respectively.

In terms of consumption, a major growth driver, total social retail in Shanghai reached 509.93 billion yuan ($76.19 billion) in the first four months, a year-on-year decrease of 14.2 percent, according to the official data.

The impact of Shanghai's latest COVID-19 outbreak started in the later part of the first quarter of 2022 and has dragged into the second quarter, and was fully reflected in April's data.

Shanghai has announced to restart business operations and services in phases from May 16. Experts suggested that the economy will come under more pressure from the second quarter of 2022, and support measures for investment, consumption and supply chain should be implemented.

Shanghai rolled out a plan to support more enterprises to resume work and production, which will progress in two phases, a vice mayor said on Thursday, as the epidemic situation gradually eases in the city after weeks of closed-off management to reduce COVID-19 infections.

Officials from the local Lingang Special Area said on May 17 that integrated circuits enterprises in the area had reached full capacity, while multiple carmakers, including SAIC Motor Corp and Tesla, also realized nearly half of their normal production capacity.

Global Times