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China GDP picks up pace with 4.5% expansion in Q1

Upbeat data comes after Beijing abandoned zero-COVID policy late last year

Containers at a port in Shanghai. China's exports unexpectedly surged in March, but analysts have cast doubt on a sustained recovery.   © Reuters

SHANGHAI -- China's economy grew by 4.5% in the first quarter as consumption got a boost after Beijing abandoned years of COVID-19 curbs.

The year-on-year figures from China's National Bureau of Statistics -- which follow a 2.9% GDP rise in the fourth quarter -- beat expectations for growth of around 4% and marked the strongest expansion since early last year.

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