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China's feeble construction sector dims outlook for GDP rebound

Many projects not deemed crucial remain abandoned for lack of workers

With many construction projects resuming work only recently, China has recorded its first quarterly economic contraction. (Photo by Issaku Harada)

BEIJING -- China's economic contraction during the first quarter, the country's only quarterly decline on record, came as the coronavirus epidemic slowed or idled many construction projects and sapped an industry regarded as a key engine for growth.

The expansion of the China National Convention Center, 10 km north of Tiananmen Square in Beijing, represents one such project.

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