According to survey data released Thursday, April 21, the COVID-19 lockdown has taken a deep toll on China’s economy last month, and the situation is no brighter as the measure prolongs through the most of April by far.

As World Economics reports, the Sales Managers Index (SMI) of China drops to 49.2, a 22-month low, from 51.8 in March.

The SMI survey covers indexes across manufacturing and service sectors. It is a composite indicator that measures business confidence, market growth, sales, prices charged, and employee numbers. Any index number greater than 50 implies growth, while any value less than 50 suggests contraction.

The Business Confidence index this month dived to a trough unseen since February 2020, at 50.6, down from 53.5 in January 2022. World Economics said it was “all but evaporated.”

The Market Growth index drops to 46.9 in April from 49.7 in March, indicating a fast and significant fall in output.

According to World Economics, the COVID lockdown impacts economic activity in all areas. Furthermore, roughly 49% of survey companies confirmed the COVID-19 blockade in China has hit their businesses.

Bloomberg reminded that data in March has already shown low consumer spending and manufacturing because of the virus containment measures. But those numbers are collected before Shanghai went into a shutdown in late March.

As the outlet reported on April 11, Nomura economists estimated at the time that there were around 373 million people in 45 Chinese cities that were under complete or partial lockdown, accounting for 40% of China’s GDP.

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