UPDATE 1-China to roll out economic measures to support virus-hit Hubei

(Adds Wuhan’s first-quarter GDP)

BEIJING, April 29 (Reuters) – China will roll out a basket of measures including tax, credit and foreign trade policies to support economic development in central Hubei province, the ruling Communist Party’s politburo said on Wednesday, state television reported.

Hubei, the epicentre of the new coronavirus outbreak in the country, should speed up development in auto-making, 5G and artificial intelligence areas, it said.

Wuhan, capital of Hubei and the city hit hardest by the epidemic in China, reported on Wednesday a 40.5% slump in its gross domestic product in the first quarter compared with a year earlier.

Like the rest of the province, Wuhan’s manufacturing sector led the decline in output, paralysed by a lockdown that was only lifted on April 8.

No new confirmed cases have been reported in Wuhan and Hubei since early April.

Wuhan, a city of 11 million people, has reported more than 3,800 fatalities from the coronavirus outbreak. (Reporting by Colin Qian and Ryan Woo; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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