COVID has hit China's economy harder than expected

The world’s second largest economy reported shocking drops in retail sales and factory production, widely missing market expectations.

Retail sales plunged 11.1% in April from a year ago, according to China’s National Bureau of Statistics on Monday. That was well below the 6.1% drop forecast in a Reuters survey of economists, and also much lower than the 3.5% decrease seen in March.

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Industrial production fell 2.9% last month from a year earlier, reversing a 5% gain in March.

This marks the worst contraction in industrial production since February 2020, when China’s economy came to a near standstill during the initial coronavirus outbreak.

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