- Chinese measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 within the country had a dramatic impact on the economy, according to preliminary data from the National Bureau of Statistics in China.
- Data from January to February are released together to eliminate seasonal factors from the Chinese New Year and allow comparison to the previous year.
- In order to eliminate the influence of the uncertain factors of the Spring Festival date and enhance the comparability of the data.
- Total retail sales in the first two months of 2020 were down 23.7 percent from the same period one year ago. Excluding autos, retail sales fell 18.9 percent.
- Investment in fixed assets fell 24.5 percent, while investment in real estate fell 16.3 percent.
China responded to COVID-19 with a series of draconian measures that included restricting travel within the country and the quarantine of large cities, like Wuhan, the epicenter of the virus. While these measures have largely eliminated the spread of the virus at this time, they have had a dramatic effect on the Chinese economy. As the U.S. implements increasingly strict measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, the economy is likely to see similar effects on consumer goods and investment.