The coronavirus pandemic has pushed the world's economies into historic slumps. But China is bucking the trend.

冠状病毒疫情将世界经济推入了衰退的历史性新高。但中国却逆势而上。

The world's second largest economy has been in recovery mode for months. Now, consumers are starting to spend more, pushing retail sales up to 3.36 trillion yuan ($495 billion) in August, a 0.5% increase over the previous year. While small, the gain marks the first time sales have increased in 2020.

作为世界第二大经济体的中国,数月来其经济一直处于复苏状态。最近,中国的消费者开始增加支出,8月份的零售额达到3.36万亿元人民币(合4950亿美元),同比增长了0.5%。虽然这个数额不大,但这是2020年零售业的首次增长,意义重大。

Chinese authorities touted the uptick at a monthly press conference Tuesday, and pointed out that the country is seeing economic improvement elsewhere, too.

中国有关部门在周二的月度新闻发布会上宣布了这一可喜的消息,并指出中国其他领域的经济也正在复苏。


China's recovery makes it an outlier as the pandemic weighs on the rest of the globe.

在疫情给全球其他国家的经济带来打击之际,中国的复苏使其成为一个异类。

The world's top economies — Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States — have shrunken dramatically in the first half of 2020. China was the only country for which the International Monetary Fund projected growth this year in its June forecast — it's expected to eke out a 1% increase.

加拿大、法国、德国、意大利、日本、英国和美国等世界主要经济体在2020年上半年大幅萎缩。国际货币基金组织在6月份预测称,中国可能是全球唯一一个今年经济会增长的国家,它可能可以勉强维持1%的增长。

Cautious recovery

谨慎的复苏

China's economy has been bouncing back since its $14 trillion economy shrank 6.8% in the first quarter, the worst plunge for a three-month period since China started publishing quarterly figures in 1992.

中国去年的经济高达14万亿美元,但今年第一季度这个数字萎缩了6.8%,这是中国自1992年开始发布季度经济数据以来跌幅最大的三个月。不过第二季度开始,中国经济一直保持着反弹趋势。

The country managed to avert a recession and grew 3.2% in the second quarter as other major economies posted massive contractions. But that data showed signs of weakness — particularly in retail, suggesting that Beijing was still having a hard time convincing people get out of their homes and splurge.

在世界上其他主要经济体出现大规模缩水之际,中国经济在第二季度成功地避免了衰退趋势,实现了3.2%的增长。但该数据也显示出了疲软迹象,这在零售行业尤为明显,这说明中国人还是没有大规模的走出家门消费。

That now appears to be changing. Fu pointed out that China's box office is recovering since authorities allowed cinemas to reopen in mid-July, with August ticket sales down a bit more than half of what they were a year earlier. Movie theaters had been closed for several months before the pandemic.

值得庆幸的是,现在这种情况似乎正在改变。傅指出,自7月中旬有关部门允许电影院重新开放以来,中国的票房正在回升,不过与去年同期相比,8月份的门票销售还是下降了一半多。在中国疫情没有好转之前,电影院已经关闭了好几个月。


"Spending remains strongest among wealthier consumers, as evident from the continued rapid growth in car and property sales," economists at Capital Economics wrote in a Tuesday research note, though they noticed that the data suggests the recovery is "broadening out."

尽管注意到数据表明中国经济复苏正在“扩大”,但“较富裕的消费者的支出依然最为强劲,这一点从汽车和房地产销售的持续快速增长就可以明显看出。”凯投宏观的经济学家在周二的一份研究报告中这样写道。

Signs of growth

增长的迹象

Tuesday's data revealed other positive signs. Industrial production and capital spending picked up in August, while the unemployment rate nudged slightly lower — 5.6% in August compared to 5.7% in July.

周二的数据还表明了其他积极迹象。工业生产和资本支出在8月份有所回升,失业率从7月份的5.7%小幅下降到8月份的5.6%。

"This growth has brought some jobs back to the market," said Iris Pang, chief economist for Greater China, in a research note.

大中华区首席经济学家彭虹在一份研究报告中表示:“经济的增长为市场带来了一些就业机会。”

"This is indeed the internal growth circulation that China is promoting," she added, referring to Beijing's recent focus on spurring domestic demand and trying to reduce its reliance on foreign trade, capital, and technology as tensions rise with the West.

她补充说:“这就是中国目前正在推行的国内经济增长良性循环。”她指出,随着与西方国家日益加剧的紧张关系,中国最近偏重刺激国内需求,并尽量减少对对外贸易、资本和技术的依赖。


Even Fu, the government spokesman, said Tuesday that the country still faces "big unemployment pressure" as a record number of new college graduates enter the job market. He said many of those people have had trouble finding a job because of the pandemic.

周二的发布会上,甚至连政府的发言人傅也表示,由于2020年进入就业市场的大学毕业生人数创下新高,国家仍面临“巨大的失业压力”。他说,许多人因为疫情而找不到工作。