China's strict COVID policy casts shadow on economic recovery

Key economic indicators show that China's zero-COVID policy continued to weigh heavily on both consumption and production in the country in May.

The National Bureau of Statistics says China's retail sales last month fell 6.7 percent from a year earlier, marking a decrease for the third straight month.

The shrinkage in retail sales was smaller than in April but the result exposed the impact of China's strict anti-coronavirus measures on the economy.

The city of Shanghai remained under lockdown last month while dining out in restaurants in Beijing was banned. Consumption saw a sharp drop.

China's industrial production rose 0.7 percent from the same period last year.
That was the first increase in two months but the margin was minimal due to a supply shortage and a decrease in production of parts stemming from the logistics disruption.

Investment in property development for the January-to-May period fell 4 percent, indicating that a slowdown continued in China's real estate industry.

The two-month lockdown in Shanghai was lifted earlier this month and the Chinese government is now moving to reinvigorate the country's economy.

However, another COVID outbreak in Beijing has led the government to reimpose strict measures in parts of the city.

It remains unclear when China's economy will begin to make a smooth recovery.