SCIO briefing on China's economic performance in April 2020

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China Economic Information Service:

The turning point at the macro level during the second quarter is called the "second quarter phenomenon," but this year's situation may be slightly special. Judging from the trend so far, will there be a "second quarter phenomenon" this year? Thank you.

Liu Aihua:

Thanks for your question. It looks like everyone is concerned about the trend in the second quarter. I made some explanations based on the changes in indicators, the situation in China and overseas, and the overall context for next-stage development. I also introduced some of our views. On the one hand, we have the conditions, the foundation, and the confidence to achieve sustained economic recovery and growth under various policies and with market players' joint efforts; however, on the other hand, there are indeed large instabilities and uncertainties. Therefore, we must uphold bottom-line thinking, seize favorable conditions, use inherent strengths in economic operation, release the potential of domestic demand, and help companies overcome current difficulties. Eventually, the economy will return to normal.

Hu Kaihong:

The last question.

Hong Kong Economic Herald:

It is already May, and there is only one month left in the first half of this year. What do you think of the economic trend in the second half of this year? Exports account for a large proportion of China's GDP. Is there any hope for this year's GDP growth rate to maintain at least 6% as the pandemic continues spreading overseas? When will the global economy recover? Thank you.

Liu Aihua:

Thanks for your questions. The first question is about the future trend of the economy and the prospects for domestic economic growth, and you also touched upon changes in exports. There is indeed great instability and uncertainty in the prospects for exports. Many international agencies or organizations recently published forecasts for economic growth this year. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasted that the world economy will decline by 3%, and the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the United Nations (UN) also made their predictions on global economic and trade activities. It is a large decrease. China's exports indeed face large risks and challenges as the risks of a global economic recession increase. Although the exports of goods increased by 8.2% in April, we cannot be overly optimistic about the prospects. Supported by a series of export stabilization policies, foreign trade companies have strengthened their adjustment capabilities, exerted their competitiveness, and diversified their arrangements, resulting in hard-won results. Despite this, it is difficult for China's exports to be spared from global economic contraction. Therefore, we should fully estimate the risks and challenges in this regard.

The second question is about predictions on economic growth for the whole year. I would like to highlight that we need to use our advantages, unleash our potential, actively respond to the current risks and challenges, help companies with current difficulties, and facilitate the Chinese economy to its normal track again. Thank you.

Hu Kaihong:

Today's press conference ends here. Thank you, Ms. Liu. Thank you all.

Translated and edited by Duan Yaying, Fan Junmei, Wang Yiming, Li Xiao, Wang Qian, Lin Liyao, Wang Wei, Qin Qi, Li Huiru, Yang Xi, Wu Jin, Jay Birbeck, David, Ball, Geoffrey Murray. In case of any dispute over a discrepancy, the Chinese version is deemed to prevail.

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