BEIJING: China’s economic growth slowed sharply in the second quarter, expanding 0.4% year-on-year and missing expectations, official data showed on Friday, as widespread lockdowns to curb record Covid cases hit industrial activity and consumer spending.
Gross domestic product (GDP) had been forecast to expand 1.0% in the April-June quarter from a year earlier, according to a Reuters poll of analysts, slowing significantly from 4.8% in the first quarter.
On a quarter-on-quarter basis, GDP fell 2.6% in the second quarter, compared with expectations for a 1.5% decline and a revised 1.4% gain in the previous quarter.
For the first half of the year, GDP grew 2.5%.
Full or partial lockdowns were imposed in major centres across the country in March and April, including the commercial capital Shanghai.
While many of those curbs have since been lifted, and June data offered signs of improvement, analysts do not expect a rapid economic recovery. China is sticking to its tough zero-Covid policy amid fresh flare-ups, the country’s property market is in a deep slump and the global outlook is darkening.
A Reuters poll forecast China’s growth to slow to 4.0% in 2022, far below the official growth target of around 5.5%.