China is facing a temporary hit to factory production and a lingering consumer slump amid the strictest COVID-19 controls since the initial outbreak two years ago.

Company statements and high-frequency indicators suggest a drop in output and spending in March after China imposed lockdowns in key cities like technology hub Shenzhen, and Changchun, a center for automakers. Official activity data won’t be available for several more weeks.

With President Xi Jinping pledging to reduce the economic damage of his "COVID zero" strategy, China has taken steps to end the shutdown in Shenzhen within a week and avoid putting Shanghai under full lockdown despite a flareup of COVID cases in the city. That suggests an attempt by officials to minimize the fallout, especially for factories.