Citing the municipal statistics bureau, Bloomberg reported that Beijing’s retail sales in May fell by about 26% year-on-year. A worse result than the data released by any Chinese province for the same month, second only to Shanghai, which plunged by about 37%. 

The statistical data suggest that even though Beijing has not adopted the strict lockdowns that Shanghai has, the Chinese capital’s Covid containment measures are still taking a heavy toll on the economy. 

Regarding industrial output, Beijing fell by nearly 40% in May, worse than Shanghai’s drop of almost 28%.

The municipal statistics bureau said Beijing’s economic decline was mainly due to the Covid outbreak.

Last year, Beijing and Shanghai contributed a considerable part of China’s GDP, accounting for 3.5% and 3.8%, respectively. So, any prolonged economic downturn will be a concern for China’s economic growth. 

Many economists believe China will miss its 5.5% growth target, with a median forecast for 2022 growth of 4.3%.

The sluggish economy has extended to Beijing’s fixed-asset investment, which grew just 2.8% from January to May this year, well below the national growth rate of 6.2%. 

It is also Beijing’s second-worst performance among the regions that have released data so far, second only to Shanghai, where investment plummeted 21.2% over the same period.

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