China’s economy grew by just 0.4% year-over-year for the second quarter of 2022, according to data released by China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) Friday.
The figure underperformed analysts’ predictions of 1.0% growth, according to CNBC, and was the worst since the first quarter of 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic began spreading in China, The Wall Street Journal reported. The lackluster growth was a result of strict COVID-19 lockdowns designed to constrain a resurgent strain of the virus, particularly in the major financial hub of Shanghai, the WSJ added.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has implemented a controversial “zero-COVID” policy which includes draconian lockdowns meant to get outbreaks in order, but has also led to food shortages, protests, public outrage and looting.
The lockdowns greatly reduced consumer demand and business activity, with decreases in retail sales and industrial production behind much of the slowing growth, according to the WSJ.
While some lockdowns in Shanghai have been lifted, as of Monday the regions that account for 25.5% of China’s GDP were still under some form of lockdown, according to CNBC.
China GDP growth falls sharply to 0.4% in 2nd quarter. Even worse than what economists expected. Slowest pace since Wuhan outbreak.
Data reflects massive economic pain from zero covid, damage from lockdowns
No expectations of quick recovery, with more flareups and BA.5
— Selina Wang (@selinawangtv) July 15, 2022
China’s economy shrank on a quarter-to-quarter basis for just the second time since such records began to be tracked in 2010, according to the WSJ.
Beijing’s growth target for 2022 was 5.5%, a rate that most economists now see as being out of reach, according to the WSJ.
“There are challenges to achieve our expected economic growth target for the whole year,” a spokesperson for the NBS said at a press conference in Beijing, according to CNN translators.
NBS did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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