China’s Economic Growth Fell to Near-Historic Lows as Covid Took a Bite

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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.

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