China’s economic growth plunged to one of its worst levels in more than four decades due to the country’s strict response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The National Bureau of Statistics released data Tuesday that showed China’s economy grew by just 3% in 2022, far less than the 8.1% mark it reached the year before. It was the second-worst economic showing since the late 1970s, surpassed only by the 2.4% mark set in 2020 at the start of the pandemic.
The world’s second-largest economy dropped 2.9% during the fourth quarter of last year, compared to 3.9% during the same period of 2021. Retail sales fell 1.8% in December.
Beijing had imposed a strict “zero-COVID” policy at the start of the pandemic, including swift and severe lockdowns, quarantines and mass testing in several cities with a significant COVID-19 outbreak. It triggered unusual and intense public protests across many Chinese cities and an economic downturn due to factory shutdowns.
The government abruptly reversed its strict “zero-COVID” strategy on December 7, but China is now battling a new wave of infections that has led to the deaths of nearly 60,000 people.
Some information for this report came from The Associated Press and Reuters.