WSJ: China - Slowest Growth In 2 Years

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.

Further down in the piece:

Even with some post-lockdown recovery, China is on course for a low-growth year, economists say. Unemployment is stubbornly high, real estate is slumping and exports are likely to weaken as Western economies shift into lower gear. Youth unemployment hit a new high in June, with almost one in five workers aged 16 to 24 out of work.