China’s growth has slowed sharply in the second quarter, expanding 0.4% over the year, falling short of expectations as the economy struggled to recover from the impact of sweeping Covid curbs, according to official data released on Friday.
A Reuters survey of economists predicted that China’s GDP would grow by 1% year over year in the second quarter, down significantly from the 4.8 % growth seen in the first quarter.
There was also a lower-than-anticipated increase in industrial production in June, expanding by 3.9% on a yearly basis against 4.1% expected.
However, due to a promotional shopping festival launched last month by major e-commerce companies, retail sales in June climbed by 3.1%, recovering from a previous fall and exceeding estimates for no rise from the earlier year.
Following a spike in Covid-19 cases, many Chinese cities, including the major commercial hub Shanghai, were placed under lockdown again during the April-June period.
Though many of these restrictions have been lifted and June data showed positive trends, economists do not anticipate a speedy economic recovery. China continues to maintain its strict zero-Covid policy despite new outbreaks, a steep drop in the country’s real estate market, and a gloomy global outlook.