200417 China
A security guard wears a facemask to protect against the spread of the new coronavirus as he stands next to shuttered shops at an outdoor shopping area in Beijing. Image Credit: AP

Beijing: China’s economy contracted for the first time in nearly three decades last quarter as drastic measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic brought activity to a standstill, official data showed Friday.

Gross domestic product shrank 6.8 per cent in the January-March quarter from the same period a year earlier, according to figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics.

It was the first negative growth reported by the world’s second-largest economy since it began logging quarterly data in the early 1990s.

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