BEIJING, April 18 (Xinhua) -- China's economy got off to a steady start in the first quarter of 2022 despite an increasingly complex international environment and resurgences of COVID-19 cases at home.
The country's gross domestic product grew 4.8 percent year on year to 27.02 trillion yuan (about 4.24 trillion U.S. dollars) in the first three months, picking up pace from a 4-percent increase in the fourth quarter last year, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed Monday.
The economy posted a stable performance with continued recovery as China struck a balance between epidemic control and economic and social development, NBS spokesperson Fu Linghui told a press conference.
After a strong rebound in 2021, China witnessed some unexpected challenges at the beginning of this year, with a volatile global situation and multiple sporadic COVID-19 outbreaks on the domestic front. The downward economic pressure is on the rise and some major indicators have seen slower increases, according to Fu.
"But the long-term economic fundamentals remain sound and the continued momentum of economic recovery has not changed," Fu said, emphasizing that the country is confident and capable of overcoming these difficulties.
A breakdown of Monday's data shows that value-added industrial output posted a stable 6.5-percent increase from a year ago in the first quarter, and fixed-asset investment jumped 9.3 percent. Retail sales of consumer goods went up 3.3 percent.
The surveyed urban unemployment rate stood at 5.5 percent in January-March, with 2.85 million new urban jobs created in this period. ■