China expects second quarter economic performance to be much better than first quarter

A woman uses her smartphone while walking by Beijing's Central Business District during morning rush hour as the spread of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in China, April 17, 2020, REUTERS/Thomas Peter

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s economic performance in the second quarter of this year is expected to be much better than in the first, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Friday.

China’s foreign trade situation in early April further improved from March, bureau spokesman Mao Shengyong told reporters during a press briefing.

Consumption is expected to rebound as pent up demand is unleashed, Mao said.

The employment situation remains stable despite the impact of the coronavirus outbreak and there has been no large scale layoffs, Mao added.

China’s economy shrank for the first time since at least 1992 in the first quarter, as the coronavirus outbreak paralysed production and spending, raising pressure on authorities to do more to stop mounting job losses.

Reporting by Gabriel Crossley; Editing by Shri Navaratnam