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China hits the biggest economic contraction since March 2020

Data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed that China's retail sales in April shrank 11.1% from a year earlier, the biggest contraction in the country since March 2020. Lockdowns in dozens of cities in March and April, including a protracted shutdown in commercial centre Shanghai, kept workers and shoppers confined to their homes, severely disrupting supply chains. As the anti-virus measures snarled supply chains and paralyzed distribution, industrial production fell 2.9% from a year earlier, notably worse than a 5% gain in March and was below expectations for a 0.4% growth. The reading was the largest decline since February 2020. This also affects the job market wherein the nationwide survey-based jobless rate rose to 6.1% in April from 5.8%.

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