Chinese economy in the Covid-19 pandemic: challenges for growth and policies

BRICs Seminar 2020-2021 | Wednesday, 13th of January
4:00 pm
4:00 pm

We are pleased to confirm that our next session of the BRICs Seminar on line of INALCO will be held on Wednesday, 13th of January at 4.00 pm (Paris hours)

Here is the webform to participate


Yuan Zhigang, School of Economics, Fudan University, Schanghai

A sudden epidemic outbreak in late 2019 has reshaped the global economy. Affected by the epidemic, the global economy has plunged into an unprecedented recession since the second World War. The economic growth of all countries has slowed down, and the stock of sovereign debt is expected to rise sharply. China will be the only major economy to achieve positive economic growth in 2020.

As a result of the epidemic, China’s consumption, trade and investment all declined a lot in the first quarter, with the secondary and tertiary industries suffering the greatest negative impact. The Chinese government adopted a more proactive fiscal policy in order to protect employment, basic livelihood and market entities immediately in the face of the epidemic. The People’s Bank of China has also used a variety of supportive monetary policies to ensure that funds flow into the small, medium and micro businesses which are most affected. In terms of epidemic prevention and control, China has also adopted a « zero infection policy » which is completely different from the West and achieved better results.

The basic features of China’s rapid economic recovery from the second quarter are as follows.

  1. The asynchronism between the production and demand of domestic and foreign leads to an unanticipated recovery of China’s net exports, and the circulation of global economy reappear.
  2. Fixed asset investment has been generally stable, but manufacturing investment is still a drag on further recovery of fixed asset investment.
  3. In terms of consumption, the recovery of domestic supply was significantly faster than that of demand, and the recovery of demand for durable consumer goods was much faster than that of services.
  4. The increase in uncertainty caused by COVID-19 has led to a significant increase in precautionary savings and hindered the recovery of consumer spending.
  5. The asymmetric impact of COVID-19 on employment and household income has a greater negative impact on low-income groups.

China’s GDP is expected to grow by 6% in the fourth quarter and 1.9% for the full year, but the biggest obstacle to a sustained recovery will remain insufficient aggregate demand. During the 14th five-year Plan, China will strive to build a strong domestic market, increase domestic demand, and form the « dual circulation » growth pattern.

Yuan Zhigang is professor of economics at the school of economics, Fudan University. He is also director of the Employment and Social Security Research Center, academic director of the faculty of economics and management of East China Normal University. After he received his Ph.D. degree in economics from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in 1993, he has been working at the School of Economics, Fudan University, where he served as the school dean from 2004 to 2015. Due to his contributions to economics researches and teaching, he was named the distinguished professor of the Changjiang Scholars Program in 2007 and National Outstanding Teacher in 2006 by the Ministry of Education of China. He has been a consultant to numerous government organizations including the Fujian Provincial People’s Government, the Shanghai Municipal Government, and was member of the Chinese Ministry of Labor and Social Security Advisory Committee. He was vice president of the Shanghai Economist Society (2007-2017), member of the international academic committee of La Fondation de la Maison des Sciences de l’Homme (FMSH) in France(2013-2015.

His research interests include various macroeconomic topics covering employment, social security system, consumption, financial reforms and the real estate market. Over 200 papers and 20 books were published. He has been the principal investigator of a variety of national research projects, including key or major programs funded by the National Social Science Foundation, the Ministry of Education or other government institutions.



Published at 13 January 2021