Shanghai, Beijing’s economic output shrinks in second quarter – statistics bureau

BEIJING (Reuters) – The economies of Shanghai and Beijing shrank in the second quarter from a year earlier as tight restrictions imposed by China’s zero-COVID policy took their toll.

The economies of five of China’s 31 provinces, regions and municipalities, including Shanghai and Beijing, contracted from April to June, compared with sluggish 0.4 percent year-on-year growth nationwide.

Shanghai’s economy slumped 13.7% in the quarter following citywide lockdowns in April and May, the biggest contraction of any province-wide region, it showed on Friday. National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) data.

With most businesses closed, Shanghai’s survey-based urban unemployment rate rose to 12.5 percent, also the highest of any provincial-level region, compared with 5.8 percent nationally.

The economy in the Chinese capital Beijing fell 2.9% as gyms, restaurants and part of public transport were closed in the quarter due to an outbreak of the Omicron variant.

The economy of highly industrialized Jiangsu, the country’s second-largest province by economic output, shrank 1.1 percent, hit by COVID cases particularly in April and May.

Elsewhere, the economy of Hainan, an island province popular among domestic tourists, shrank 2.5% as visitors stayed away due to possible travel restrictions.

The northeastern province of Jilin, battered by prolonged COVID restrictions from March, saw its economy contract 4.5% in the second quarter, after falling 7.9% in the previous quarter.

Ongoing pressure over the next few months from a darkening global growth outlook is expected to weigh on China’s recovery and the government’s 2022 growth target of around 5.5%.

“The downward pressure on the whole economy is enormous,” said Ken Cheung, chief Asian currency strategist at Mizuho Bank, expecting authorities to focus on easing measures. targeted in the second half of this year.

“It is difficult to meet the growth target for this year.”

(Reporting by Ellen Zhang and Ryan Woo; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

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