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China's retail reopening hampered by Covid surge

By Don-Alvin Adegeest


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Image: China International Fashion Fair

China’s abolishing of its zero Covid strategy has perhaps less to do with civilian protests than a shrinking economy.

China, often dubbed the world’s factory, saw production and retail sales miss November forecasts, resulting in the country’s worst output data in six months. Growth was 2.2 percent compared to October’s 5 percent, and below expectations of 3.6 percent.

Al Jazeera reported China’s retail sales fell 5.9 percent, with the service industry especially hit. Analysts had expected the gauge of consumption to shrink 3.7 percent, accelerating from a 0.5 percent dip in October.

The slump in retail sales was higher than expected, with online sales of physical goods rising by 4 percent year-on-year, down sharply from October, according to CNBC data accessed through Wind Information.

As the world continues to see inflation and higher cost of goods caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, demand for China’s exports also fell by 8.7 percent compared to 2021.

China’s reopening has seen an increase in Covid cases, and infections in populous areas are on the rise. A full economic rebound is yet to come.