China's new COVID curbs add to economic woes

STORY: China's two biggest cities tightened COVID-19 curbs on Monday (May 9), raising concerns about its economy.

Authorities are wrestling with the worst COVID outbreaks since the pandemic began.

Residents in Beijing's hardest-hit areas were told to work from home, while more public areas were sealed off.

Beijing has been hoping to avoid the weeks of lockdowns that Shanghai has endured

- but the growing number of buildings under stay-at-home orders are unnerving residents.

Shanghai itself is retightening restrictions - all as the toll on China's economy continues to mount.

On Monday, data showed that China's export growth slowed to single digits - the weakest in almost two years.

China's trade sector accounts for about a third of its GDP.

The weak figures show it's losing momentum, as the lockdowns ensnare supply chains and force some companies to suspend operations.

It all adds to the risk of a deeper slowdown, and repercussions for global growth amid rate hikes and surging prices.

Some analysts even warn of rising recession risks.

They say more stimulus must be provided to reach a growth target of about 5.5% for this year - if Beijing doesn't ease its zero-COVID policy.

But, there are few signs of that happening.

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