URGENT: China's economy grows 18.3% in 1st qtr, sharpest pace on record

© Kyodo News

China's economy recorded its sharpest quarterly growth on record in the first three months of 2021, expanding 18.3 percent from a year earlier, official data showed Friday, as both domestic and external demand steadily recuperated from the coronavirus crisis.

Since the increase in new infections apparently peaked in late February last year, China, dubbed the "world's factory," has shown signs of a V-shaped economic recovery with business activities intensifying and retail sales bouncing back.

During the same period in 2020, the economy plunged 6.8 percent, marking its first quarterly contraction, as movements of people and goods were drastically restricted amid the outbreak, dealing a heavy blow to production, consumption and trade across the board.