The outlook for 2023 has been lifted by optimism around the easing of Covid restrictions
SINGAPORE—China’s economy grew at one of its slowest rates in decades last year as repeated lockdowns hammered households and businesses, emphasizing the high cost of zero-tolerance Covid-19 policies that Beijing abruptly abandoned at the end of 2022.
China’s economy expanded 3% in 2022, the National Bureau of Statistics said Tuesday, a sharp slowdown from the 8.1% pace recorded in 2021. Aside from 2020, when the economy grew only 2.2%, last year marked the worst year for gross domestic product growth in China since 1976, the year that Mao Zedong’s death ended the decade of strife known as the Cultural Revolution, according to World Bank data.
The ditching of almost all public-health restrictions in China after nearly three years of smothering even tiny virus outbreaks sets the stage for an economic rebound in 2023. Economists expect a consumer-led recovery in China this year to buttress global growth as the U.S. and Europe flirt with recession.
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