The Association Press reported that China’s economic growth remained weak in the first quarter of 2022 as industrial cities shut down to combat the COVID epidemic. The economy grew at 4.8% year on year in the first three months.

Data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed China’s economy picked up from a 4.0% growth in the fourth quarter of last year.

However, China’s economic growth slowed to 1.3% from 1.4% compared with the previous quarter.

According to Reuters, April’s data would be worse due to ongoing lockdowns in Shanghai’s financial hub and elsewhere. Some analysts have signaled China’s at risk of economic recession.

In a report, Iris Pang, Chief Economist at ING, said, “Further impacts from lockdowns are imminent, not only because there has been a delay in the delivery of daily necessities, but also because they add uncertainty to services and factory operations that have already impacted the labor market.”

She added, “Support from fiscal and monetary policy has not been enough to fully offset the damage to GDP created by the lockdowns. We may need to revise our GDP forecasts further if fiscal Support does not come in time.”

China’s economic slowdown hurt trading partners and disrupted the flow of industrial goods between Shanghai and other cities.

According to the Association Press, China’s growth in the first quarter fell short of the government’s annual target of 5.5%.

As reported by Reuters, March data showed retail sales fell 3.5 percent.

In addition, the labor market began to show signs of stress in March. Data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed the national urban unemployment rate was 5.8% in March, up 0.3% from February.

As the country’s latest COVID-19 outbreak took hold, China’s new-home sales plunged to their lowest level since July 2021.

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