China issues a cautionary message to the West about the concept of ‘survival of the fittest’ amid a manufacturing-driven economic upturn.

China’s first-quarter GDP figures highlight President Xi Jinping’s strategy of relying on a manufacturing surge to counterbalance the prolonged downturn in the property market. The National Bureau of Statistics reported a 6.1 percent increase in industrial production and nearly 10 percent growth in manufacturing investment, contributing to a stronger-than-expected 5.3 percent GDP growth for the first three months of 2024. However, amidst double-digit declines in property sales, analysts question the sustainability of policymakers’ focus on boosting supply over domestic demand, especially given the economy’s challenges with low consumer and investor confidence and deflationary pressures. Hui Shan, chief China economist at Goldman Sachs, remarked, “The drivers are pretty clear — more production and exports helped along with more investment on the manufacturing front.”

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