China’s growth surges to 18.3% but rebound leveling off

BEIJING (AP) — China’s economic growth surged to 18.3% over a year earlier in the first quarter of 2021 but an explosive rebound in factory and consumer activity following the coronavirus pandemic was leveling off. The figures were magnified by comparison with early 2020, when the world’s second-largest economy suffered its deepest contraction in decades. Growth compared with the final quarter of 2020, when a recovery was under way, was only 0.6%, among the lowest in a decade. Manufacturing and consumer activity has returned to normal since the ruling Communist Party declared victory over the coronavirus last March and allowed factories and stores to reopen. Restaurants and shopping malls are filling up, though visitors still are checked for the virus’s telltale fever.