Shanghai lockdown: China spending and employment hit
According to official numbers, China’s consumer spending decreased and unemployment surged last month as COVID lockdowns restricted millions of people to their homes.
Unemployment has risen to its greatest level since the beginning of the pandemic. However, in the first three months of this year, the country’s economy increased faster than projected.
A spike in infections has prompted lockdowns in several major cities, including Shanghai, China’s financial, manufacturing, and shipping hub.
According to China’s National Bureau of Statistics, retail sales declined 3.5 per cent in March compared to the same month last year. It was the first time since July 2020 that the index had dropped.
Unemployment jumped to 5.8% in the same period, the highest level since May 2020.
The GDP, a crucial economic measure, increased by 4.8 per cent in comparison to a year ago, exceeding analysts’ expectations. However, this is less than Beijing’s 5.5 per cent growth target for this year.
The limitations, which began in the second part of March, have had a “limited” impact so far, according to Tommy Xie, head of Greater China research at OCBC Bank, but he expects them to be a substantial drag on economic growth this month.
China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology announced on Friday that it would assist more than 600 Shanghai-based businesses in resuming operations. Companies in the computer chip, automobile, and medical industries were among them.
Last week, Richard Yu, a senior executive at Chinese technology giant Huawei, warned that if the city did not resume operations by next month, “technology, industrial, and vehicle supply chains will come to a total halt.”
Chinese officials earlier on Monday said three people were reported dead at COVID in Shanghai, which was shut down in late March by Chinese officials.
Authorities stated the three victims were between the ages of 89 and 91, had many underlying conditions, and had been vaccinated.
Meanwhile, some Shanghai residents have expressed their displeasure with the city’s stringent lockdown.
People have taken to social media in recent weeks to express their dissatisfaction with the limitations and lack of food supply, while video footage has shown clashes between police and civilians.