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China GDP shrinks 6.8% in Q1, first decline since 1992

Government may be urged to drop annual growth forecast on lingering uncertainty

SHANGHAI -- China's economy in the first quarter contracted for the first time since 1992, dealt a painful blow by the coronavirus pandemic, as the government's fiscal measures failed to immediately alleviate hardship.

The 6.8% contraction announced by the National Bureau of Statistics on Friday marked a sharp decline from the 6% growth logged in the last quarter of 2019. It is lower than the median negative 3.7% forecast by economists polled by Nikkei.

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