Representative image.

China suffered a sharp economic contraction in the first three months of this year after the massive outbreak of COVID-19 brought a halt to industrial activities.

According to date released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Friday, China’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) shrank 6.8 per cent in the January-March quarter from the same period a year ago.

As per reports, the sharp fall in GDP indicates the country’s first negative growth since it began logging quarterly data in the early 1990s.

Industrial output declined to 1.1 per cent in March in China as factories had to be shutdown which resulted in the halt of productions.

Retail sales also plunged to 15.8 per cent last month after many of the people in the country stayed at home and avoided crowding in places due to fears of contracting the deadly virus.

The urban unemployment rate also dropped slightly to 5.9 per cent last month, after surging to 6.2 per cent in February.

The first case of coronavirus was reported from China’s Wuhan in December last year.

Meanwhile, Wuhan on Friday abruptly raised its death toll by 50 per cent, saying many fatal cases were ‘mistakenly reported’ or missed entirely in an admission that comes amid growing global doubts about Chinese transparency.


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