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China surprises with key rate cuts to boost struggling economy

July factory output and retail sales weaken, youth unemployment hits record high

Workers eat lunch at a construction site in Beijing. China's economy has struggled in the wake of repeated COVID-19 lockdowns.   © Reuters

SHANGHAI -- China on Monday announced surprise interest rate cuts in a bid to boost its struggling economy as industrial production and retail sales weakened while youth unemployment hit a record high.

The world's No. 2 economy has yet to gain a solid footing and narrowly avoided a second-quarter contraction, as repeated lockdowns under China's strict zero-COVID policy weigh on activity with factory output and consumer spending struggling to mount a strong recovery.

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