How will China recover from COVID-19?

Mar 5, 2020

The ongoing COVID-19 outbreak has hit the Chinese economy dramatically due to the measures that China has taken to restrict the movement of people – such as imposing the lockdown. Naturally, these restrictions have adverse effects on the travel and tourism industry, operations of shops and factories as well as labor migration. However, it is likely to generate negative economic impacts only for one or two quarters, but not the whole year.


The ongoing COVID-19 outbreak has hit the Chinese economy dramatically due to the measures that China has taken to restrict the movement of people – such as imposing the lockdown. Naturally, these restrictions have adverse effects on the travel and tourism industry, operations of shops and factories as well as labor migration. However, it is likely to generate negative economic impacts only for one or two quarters, but not the whole year.

According to an article by Channel News Asia, China is on track in achieving its three goals of national development that has been outlined in their 13th Five Year Plan, and 2020 is of significance for China. The three most symbolic goals set to be achieved by the end of 2020 are: doubling GDP based on its 2020 volume; doubling average household income compared to its 2020 level and lastly eliminating rural poverty.

In hopes for a speedy recovery

The sooner the epidemic is over, the quicker China’s economy will recover. Although severe control measures will weaken current economic performance, it will help to end the outbreak earlier. While the scope of COVID-19 outbreak now exceeds that of SARS, the duration remains as the key factor for accessing the impact on the economy.

Current data has suggested that the epidemic will likely reach a turning point in the next few weeks, that would mean China might have to conquer the virus in the first quarter, which is essential to mitigating the epidemic’s impact on the country’s overall growth in 2020.

Just a bump on the road

At this point in time, it may be too early to access precisely China’s economic losses and damage to people’s livelihoods, with COVID-19 yet to be contained and economic activities still on hold. However, based on emerging trends of the outbreak and what China had already done by the end of 2019 towards accomplishing the goals that they have set, it is hopeful to say that China can be confident in meeting them by the end of 2020.

Even though COVID-19 will generate short-term economic pain, China’s long-term development and progress in achieving the goals of the 13th Five Year Plan by the end of 2020 are still on track.

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