17th April 2024: GDP growth in the first quarter

This episode contains segments on:

  • Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and key economic indicators in the first quarter of 2024;
  • Foreign trade data in March;
  • Producer and consumer prices indices in March;
  • German Chancellor Scholz’ visit to China
  • New guidelines on strengthening capital market regulation.

From the Chamber’s side, the latest issue of EURObiz is released and available to download.


We’d love to hear your feedback. Contact us at website@europeanchamber.com.cn.

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Read more:

2024 Q1 key economic indicators (NBS)


Foreign trade data, March (GAC)


Official price indices, March (NBS)



Scholz-Xi meeting


State Council’s new guidelines on strengthening capital market regulation


EURObiz magazine March/April 2024



RUI: Hello and welcome to China ShortCuts,

MARIANN: the European Chamber’s weekly catchup on China’s business landscape.


RUI: According to official data released by China’s National Bureau of Statistics on 16th April, the country’s economy expanded 5.3 per cent in the first quarter compared to the same period last year.

MARIANN: China’s gross domestic product totalled at 29.6 trillion yuan in the first three months of 2024, with the year-on-year growth outpacing economists’ forecasts. One key factor that helped the economy regain some momentum in the first quarter was a sharp uptick in exports in the January-February period. As external demand picked up, industrial production also expanded, growing over 6 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter. However, the March data showed a deceleration in industrial production growth, with the rate falling well below the expected level.

To ensure sustainable economic growth, China will need to address a list of structural issues, including weak domestic consumption. Retail sales data for March indicated a continued slowdown in growth in this area. At 3.1 per cent, the rate of growth was the lowest recorded since last July.


RUI: China’s March foreign trade data indicated year-on-year drops in both exports and imports.

MARIANN: In dollar denominated terms, the country’s total value of exports fell 7.5 per cent compared to the same period last year, which is the sharpest decline recorded since last August. The drop is partly due to the high base last year, as China’s export value surged almost 15 per cent year-on-year in March 2023. However, the rate of decline was more than twice that which analysts had projected.

The value of imports also dropped compared to a year ago, following two consecutive months of growth.

The European Union remained China’s second largest trade partner in the first quarter, however, the total trade value between the two fell 6.5 per cent year-on-year, with the value of China’s imports from the EU sinking at a faster pace than its exports to the bloc.


RUI: Producer prices in China continued their year-on-year decline for the 18th consecutive month in March, while the increase in consumer prices weakened substantially from the previous month.  

MARIANN: Prices that producers charge their customers dropped 2.8 per cent compared to the same period last year. The rate of decrease accelerated to the fastest pace recorded since last November. Meanwhile, the year-on-year growth in customer prices dipped to 0.1 per cent, primarily due to a decrease in prices of food and travel-related services.


RUI: German Chancellor Olaf Scholz met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing on 16th April, during his three-day visit to China, and discussed key global and bilateral issues, as well as opportunities for strengthening cooperation in certain areas.

MARIANN: Scholz assured Xi of Germany’s willingness to contribute to the development of EU-China relations and stressed his country’s opposition to protectionism and its support for free trade. He highlighted several areas for advancing cooperation between the two sides, including people-to-people exchanges in education and culture, and the fight against climate change. Xi pointed out that the intertwined nature of their supply chains has led to an interdependence between the Chinese and German markets, therefore maintaining stable bilateral relations warrants continued cooperation between the two. He stressed that their mutually beneficial cooperation brings more opportunities for the future rather than risks.


RUI: On 12th April, the State Council issued a guideline aimed at strengthening the regulation as well as the resilience of China’s capital markets.

MARIANN: The document calls for strict oversight of the entry process through security issuance and listing, and tightened supervision of listed firms. The guidelines also highlight the need to intensify efforts to crack down on illegal activities such as fraudulent issuance or securities and futures malpractice.


RUI: The latest issue of the Chamber’s bimonthly magazine EURObiz explores a number of areas relevant to European businesses’ operations in China.  Featured articles delve into topics such as how the EU’s Foreign Subsidies Regulation has not had the impact that many expected and how the bloc is taking a series of measures to protect its economic security.

MARIANN: The March/April edition of EURObiz is now available to download for free from the Chamber’s website.


RUI: Thanks for listening, and don’t forget to tune in again next week.

MARIANN: In the meantime, please find useful links in the episode notes.

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