Faced with its worst COVID-19 outbreak yet, China has been enforcing an expanding number of mass quarantines, strict lockdowns and border controls. The measures may yet work, but official data released Monday show they are exacting a grim toll on the world’s second-largest economy.

China’s economy expanded 4.8% in the first three months of this year compared with the same period last year. That pace was barely faster than the final three months of last year, and it also obscured a looming problem.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.