China’s economic growth slows sharply as Covid policy takes its toll

Japanese securities firm Nomura estimated that as of Monday, 247 million people in 31 cities were under some kind of lockdown in China, covering about a fifth of the national population and representing the equivalent of about 4.3 trillion people. dollars of annual gross domestic product. . The number of cities affected almost tripled compared to the previous week.

Beijing has urged local authorities to step up measures to ensure job stability during lockdowns. And yet, with so many small and medium-sized businesses hurting financially, the government is struggling to bring rising unemployment under control.

In June, unemployment stood at 5.5% – an improvement from April and May but close to the highest level since China began reporting figures in 2018. For job seekers aged 16 to 24 year olds, which includes recent university graduates, the unemployment rate was higher. more than three times higher at 19.3 percent.

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