Coronavirus: Chinese GDP growing, but unemployment remains high

Between April and June, the Asian giant’s economy grew by 3.2%, recovering from the collapse following pandemic at the beginning of the year. But the data clashes with unemployment figures set at 5.7%. The per capita income of the Chinese also falls. Mounting strikes over non-payment of wages.

Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) - China's gross domestic product is growing again after the collapse due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) report issued today. In the second quarter of the year, China's economy grew 3.2% over the same period last year.

As a result of the pandemic crisis, the Asian giant's GDP decreased by 6.8% in the first three months of the year: a veritable collapse, the first economic contraction since the end of the Cultural Revolution in 1976.

The government response to the crisis included injecting liquidity into the economic-financial system, cutting taxes and easing access to bank loans. On the back of this, analysts had predicted a recovery of the Chinese economy, however at a more contained rate (+ 2.4%). They also predict continued improvement in the coming months, even if the other economic indicators raise doubts.

Hong Kong’s China Labor Bulletin (Clb) notes that the unemployment rate in urban areas remained quite high (5.7%) in June, only slightly improving compared to 5.9% in May. However, the figure does not take into account about 290 million migrant workers, mostly from rural areas, who are struggling to find work.

In the first six months of 2020, the per capita disposable income in the country then decreased by 1.3% on an annual basis (by 2% in urban areas). This is confirmed by the drop in retail sales, which fell 1.8% last month.

The ongoing state of crisis is evidenced by the surge in strikes for the failure to pay wages or arrears. In June, the CLB recorded 89 protests from workers claiming their rights.