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China's retail sales contracts by 11.1% in April, the worst since 2020

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China's economy stumbling

Stringent lockdowns at several parts of China have hit its economy. In April, retail sales registered a contraction of 11.1 per cent compared to a year ago, data published by China's National Bureau of Statistics revealed. This is the biggest fall since March 2020.

Factory production also declined 2.9 per cent from a year earlier as China continued with its zero Covid policy.

The South China Morning Post in its report said that major indicators measuring the state of the world’s second largest economy fell short of expectations in data released on Monday, with industrial production, retail sales, fixed-asset investment and the surveyed jobless rate falling to their weakest levels in more than two years.

Also read: As business sentiment takes a further beating in China, what is in store for the world's second largest economy?

That apart, China’s exports growth for April too slowed down to 3.7 per cent compared to a year earlier to $273.6 billion, down from 14.7 per cent recorded in March. This is the lowest since June 2020.

China’s zero Covid approach has come under scrutiny as several companies were forced to remain shut while a large number of small and medium enterprises have been forced to wind up.

China posted an economic growth of 4.8 per cent in the January to March period of this year but growth in the second quarter will be severely impacted. Besides the Covid 19 induced restrictions that have affected businesses, the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict has also dealt a blow to the country’s economy.