WSJ headline: China’s Economy Records 0.4% Growth, Weakest Since Wuhan Lockdown
Sub-headline: The Chinese economy narrowly avoided a contraction in the second quarter as Beijing’s zero-Covid approach took a toll
SINGAPORE—China recorded its weakest growth rate in more than two years, a measure of the costs imposed on the world’s second-largest economy by Beijing’s zero-tolerance approach to Covid-19.
Gross domestic product expanded at a 0.4% annual rate in the April to June period, China’s National Bureau of Statistics said Friday. That was the worst performance since the first quarter of 2020, when the pandemic first erupted and the economy shrank 6.9% after the Central Chinese metropolis of Wuhan became the first city in the world to lock down to stem the spread of Covid-19. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had forecast China’s economy to grow 0.9%.
The scale of the slowdown highlights the damage caused by stringent lockdowns that left millions of Shanghai residents confined to their homes for two months and many businesses closed as authorities tried to snuff out a coronavirus outbreak in China’s wealthiest city.