China pays a zero Covid price

Be thankful for small favors: China’s dismal economic growth in the first three months of the year beat at least economists’ more pessimistic forecasts. That’s the end of the good news, however, as Monday’s report of 4.8% GDP growth in the first quarter means Beijing is unlikely to meet its 5.5% growth target for the year.

The slower growth is the natural result of Beijing’s zero-Covid fixation, which has prompted authorities to shut down Shanghai and parts of industrial hubs like Shenzhen and Jilin province. Retail sales in March fell nearly 2% mom and 3.5% year-on-year. Of even greater concern for the world, industrial production growth slowed to 5% yoy in March from 7.5% in Jan-Feb. China pays a zero Covid price

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