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China grows 18.3%, the only major economy to grow in 2020

Neill Fronde



PHOTO: China - the second largest economy, and only major economy to grow last year.

China’s economy set a record for growth in Q1, 2021, marking an 18.3% jump in year-on-year figures, the biggest quarterly growth in almost 30 years. China only started publishing growth statistics in 1992, and this drastic increase is the fastest growth recorded since then.

The figures, however impressive, are mainly due to what is called a “low base effect” where the change from a low starting point translates into big percentage statistics. Because of the devastating economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Q1 2020 figures were dismal, allowing the big gain over the last year.

Quarter to quarter, the last 3 months saw only a 0.6% growth, but in the last quarter of 2020 China recorded an economic boom of 6.5% according to the Chinese government. Still, the figures are admirable, as China was the only major economy in the world to achieve growth in 2020. Most of the planet struggled to contain global Covid-19 outbreaks, crippling economies across the globe. But China, now the second-largest economy in the world, managed a 2.3% overall expansion. Even Chinese officials called the impressive statistics “better than we had expected.”

China has been growing in terms of imports and exports as well, with exports expanding nearly 31% and imports up 38% by price over last years.



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  1. Avatar


    Friday, April 16, 2021 at 3:16 pm

    Very impressive. Where are all the haters to shout ‘liars’ then? They’ll be along soon.

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    Charles Wall

    Friday, April 16, 2021 at 3:35 pm

    Ironic, China has destroyed the world economy and caused untold misery. They should be made to pay reparations to every country based on death numbers. They’re vaccine is also faulty, this will lead to further serious health complications in the future for those who have received it, possibly causing more mutations.

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    Friday, April 16, 2021 at 3:57 pm

    Excellent management of pandemic is the base of economic growth.

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    Friday, April 16, 2021 at 4:45 pm

    Their Covid 19 strategy is working well for them

  5. Avatar


    Friday, April 16, 2021 at 4:58 pm

    ^Oh look, another Wu Mao.

  6. Avatar


    Friday, April 16, 2021 at 5:56 pm

    China has shown the way on how to best manage the virus.
    Must help not allowing money to leave the country in the form of tourist dollars, doesn’t help countries like Thailand though.

  7. Avatar


    Friday, April 16, 2021 at 7:14 pm


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    Barry Betts

    Friday, April 16, 2021 at 8:22 pm

    Well that’s telling us all that China can kill millions of people around the world make money out of it so they’ll be able to do it time and time again and get away with it!!!! Congrats to China and sod the rest of the world just shows what kind of country the world is dealing with!!!

  9. Avatar


    Friday, April 16, 2021 at 8:40 pm

    Anyone praising China either has a very short memory or hasn’t done their research.

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    Kuhn David

    Friday, April 16, 2021 at 8:53 pm

    China cooked the virus up just like they cooked up the books on their economy. There isn’t much I believe coming out of China

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    Friday, April 16, 2021 at 8:55 pm

    China deChina decisive action at the begging was important because that´s how you manage a epidemic.

    You have 2 options: either

    a-you let the disease spread and allow nature to take its course

    b-if chose to stop it your only chance is to remove the virus of circulation and then set a system to make sure no new cases come from the outside

    The lockdown that china did was serious no exceptions but instead of being a example and a wake up call of the danger, it was dismissed by the “west” as a violation of “human rights”.

    Many voices even celebrated this as an accelerator for “jobs leaving Chy-na!” while sat on their hands watching like this was some kind of movie because they thought this would never touch them, after all they are special unlike “chy-na”

  12. Avatar

    toby andrews

    Friday, April 16, 2021 at 9:00 pm

    These are Chinese figures. Can they be trusted?

  13. Avatar


    Friday, April 16, 2021 at 11:00 pm

    John 2, China’s government should know how best to handle the virus since they knew about it months before the rest of the world did.

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    Friday, April 16, 2021 at 11:56 pm

    Not one person with a semi-functional brain would believe this propaganda courtesy of their paid puppets @CNN, the OP. Anyone with a somewhat partially functional brain knows that the US mainstream media is entirely opinion, and pure fiction at best. Come on Thaiger, quit with the bait posts, you’re better than that.

    • Thaiger


      Saturday, April 17, 2021 at 7:25 am

      It was reported in the other main news sources too.

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    Leo Z

    Saturday, April 17, 2021 at 12:07 am

    First, year-on-year means compared to the 1st quarter 2020, which was ABYSMAL in China. It’s not sequential, i.e. it’s not compared to the 4th quarter 2020.

    Second, even Chinese officials claimed it was better than they expected? THEY come up with the numbers. There’s no independent audit of any numbers in China.

    Third, their GDP growth comes mostly from government infrastructure projects and manufacturing activity, NOT consumption, which does not bode well for the future.

  16. Avatar


    Saturday, April 17, 2021 at 5:06 am

    China can come up with any numbers. Who’s there to audit them?

  17. Avatar

    Barry Betts

    Saturday, April 17, 2021 at 5:50 am

    Well done China!! Same again as what their doing with Hong Kong,China is evil and will always get away with everything unless they get wiped out once and for all!! Atom bomb I say

  18. Avatar

    Amy Sukwan

    Saturday, April 17, 2021 at 8:36 am

    The Chinese seem to have read The Art of War. They knew how to break the ice on lockdowns travel restrictions and human rights crippling nonsense in a way that fomented mass panic. And now they’ve come out ahead. The birth rate dropping in China to the lowest level since 1962 tells me all is not necessarily well. May God help us all.

  19. Avatar

    J West

    Saturday, April 17, 2021 at 9:40 am

    As school children we were given UNICEF boxes to collect pennies for Chinas starving millions. My generation grew up and developed Chinas industrial base by shuttering our own factories. We redirected trillions towards China to shift the horrors of them threatening nuclear war and the invasion of neighbors with a “ million man army”. China now brags of “its” success? Frankly I’m tired of waiting for China to join the family. If it were up to me I’d build another Great Wall, this time by way of a complete embargo, no goods out, no goods in, no travel , no communications. China only seeks to dominate, let them go back to eating bugs in the field. We were wrong to help them.

  20. Avatar

    Steve L.

    Monday, April 19, 2021 at 4:05 am

    China’s approach to managing the virus was effective but not admirable. Basically kidnapping people and locking them up isn’t what I would consider admirable. Taiwan and South Korea, and Thailand, actually had better balanced approaches. Taiwan was helped by their isolation.

    Some countries fell short on their responses but like others will recover quickly. The priority now is vaccinating the populations. In that regard China is lagging behind as their vaccinations aren’t as effective (~50%) as others that have been developed (95-97%). As such, they will need to more closely monitor the population for a prolonged time and their citizens will continue to pose a slightly higher risk to others while traveling.

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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.


Stimulus package gives more back the more you spend

Neill Fronde



PHOTO: A new stimulus package aims to get the middle class spending. (via Flickr - Marco Verch)

A new stimulus package targeting middle and high-income people aims at increasing spending by offering more e-voucher the more you spend. Ying Chai Ying Dai, which translates to “the more you spend the more you get”, will reward those who spend between 46,000 and 70,000 baht with a 7,000 baht e-voucher. This part of the government’s 225 billion baht stimulus package hopes to encourage 4 million qualifying middle- to upper-class people to spend more money by refunding 10-15% back, according to the Finance Ministry’s Fiscal Policy Office.

People wishing to participate must register and make their purchases through a government e-wallet system. The system works by refunding 10 to 15% of purchases with a maximum of 7,000 baht. So at 15%, a person who spent 46,000 baht would receive back the full 7,000. On the 10% scheme, 70,000 baht in spending would be necessary to reach 7,000 cashback. No details were available on what determines the percentage level.

An additional 2,000 baht will be available for people participating in the “Section 33 Rao Rak Kan” and “Rao Chana” scheme. The plans are expected to push 85.5 billion Baht back into the economy as recipients must spend the cash by the end of June.

The 50/50 stimulus program that has been popular with the government covering half of what people spend for half for food, drink, and other items up to 150 baht per person per day will also be expanded. That plan began on October 23, and ended at the end of 2020, covering 10 million people with each receiving 3000 baht. The second phase of the popular program added 5 million more people and raised the limit to 3,500 baht per person.

A third phase of the “Khon La Khrueng” stimulus plan is expected to begin in July with participants getting a maximum of 3,500 baht each to spend, and opening the program to 16 million new people. This massive expansion though will stipulate that anyone participating in this program cannot also participate in the Ying Chai Ying Dai scheme.

All of these cash and voucher benefits aimed at supporting vulnerable groups, along with cash handouts for people who have state welfare cards, are part of 245 billion baht the government is spending in an attempt to keep the economy from collapsing. This falls under an emergency loan decree allocating the government 1 trillion baht total to cope with Covid-19.

SOURCE: The Phuket News


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Thailand increases durian exports to China by 14% this year




Thailand has exported 14% more durian to China in this year’s first quarter over the same period last year. The Trade Negotiations Department Director General says Thai durian auctions in the first quarter secured 186 million, making up 88% of the total amount of Thai durian exports to world markets.

Last year, Thailand exported US1.5 billion worth of durian to China, a 78% increase from 2019. China’s share accounted for 73% of total Thai durian exports to world markets. 18 countries have free trade agreements for fruit with Thailand. Thailand is actively exporting fresh fruit with its top buyers being Australia, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore. The most popular fruits are the national delicacy of durian, along with mango, mangosteen and longan.

Despite the increases in durian exports, farmers have been worried about Covid-19′s effect on the industry. Earlier in 2021 health authorities in China circulated a press release stating that imported cherries from Chile had been tested and found to have Covid-19 contamination. This statement prompted a huge drop in Chilean cherry prices. Thai growers are worried the same might happen to durian imports. As the seriousness of the Coronavirus in Thailand reaches new widespread levels, one instance of a durian container being linked to Covid-19 could spur a total ban on importing fruit from Thailand.

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GDP forecast dropped to 1-2% with best, middle and worst case scenarios

Neill Fronde



FILE PHOTO: Economic predictions continue to fall with Covid-19 spread and slow vaccination.

Mass vaccination will be the key stop the slump in economic growth after the Bank of Thailand revised their 2021 GDP forecast to between 1 – 2%. They had previously estimated a 3% growth in the gross domestic product but are now creating tiered predictions of a base level, worse situation, and a worst-case scenario, according to the Bank of Thailand’s Monetary Policy Committee.

The base GDP forecast, which you could call a best-case scenario, expects a 2% growth predicated on some rosy numbers like foreign tourism growing to 1.2 million people and unemployment staying around 2.7 million. It also operates on the assumption that Thailand reaches 100 million vaccines distributed by the end of the year which would allow herd immunity by the beginning of 2022.

The middle ground prediction is a 1.5% GDP growth if 64.6 million vaccines are administered, delaying herd immunity to the third quarter of 2022. It also allows for unemployment to grow by another 100,000 people, and tourism to reach only 1 million foreign visitors. If we don’t get this tourism growth and unemployment and underemployment expands to 2.9 million or above, and we distribute less than 64.4 million jabs, the worst-case scenario would be only a 1% GDP growth and herd immunity not being possible until the end of 2022 at the earliest.

The worst-case scenario would be a 5.7% drop in the GDP this year, a loss of 890 billion baht. The middle ground forecast would cost about 460 billion Baht, about a 3% drop in Thailand GDP.

The BOT had originally forecast stronger GDP growth but reduced from 3.2% to 3% before dropping their predictions to the 1% to 2% figure. With the devastating effect of the third wave of Covid-19 being much more far-reaching than originally expected, this new prediction was released now instead of when it was scheduled in June. They did state that government economic stimulus packages could still have a positive effect and allow the economy to grow 3 to 5.7%, assuming mass vaccination goes into effect quickly.

The tourism sector and small-to-medium-sized enterprises would be the most affected by the delays in vaccination. The Monetary Policy Committee stressed that the economy hinges on the speedy importing and administering of vaccines. Faster vaccination will prevent mutations, new strains, and new outbreaks, as well as allowing international borders to fully reopen more quickly and more successfully. They stress that government efforts to support the economy must continue as the government has recently announced they will extend cash stimulus programs and allot money to more low-income assistance.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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