China’s nationwide power generation has seen a modest rise in the first half of April following a plunge in the first quarter on the back of the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Figures from the China Electricity Council (中国电力企业联合会) point to a steady rise since the end of March in Chinese power demand beyond levels seen for the same period last year.
For the period from 1 to 15 April Chinese national power generation saw a YoY rise of 1.2%.
This stands in stark contrast to a 6.8% YoY decline in power generation by China’s large-scale industrial enterprises during the first quarter.
The first quarter decline nonetheless marked a narrow of 1.4 percentage points compared to the power generation decline for January-February.
Policymakers and analysts have long considered power generation to be a useful proxy indicator for economic activity in China.
The State Grid Energy Research Institute (国网能源研究院) forecasts that in the second quarter full society usage of national grid power will see a rise of between 2 – 3%, following the Chinese economy’s return to normalcy.