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China's 'zero COVID' ambitions hamper economic recovery

Real consumption gains slow in October amid widespread pandemic curbs

Security personnel guard a residential compound in Beijing under lockdown over an outbreak of COVID-19. The Chinese capital is taking extensive steps to keep cases under control, especially with the Winter Olympics just months away.   © Reuters

BEIJING -- China's goal of eradicating the coronavirus within its borders is weighing heavily on its economy, as renewed restrictions in response to a surge in infections since October squeeze consumer spending.

China's nominal retail sales of consumer goods climbed 4.9% on the year in October, according to data published Monday by the National Bureau of Statistics. Year-on-year gains rose from 4.4% in September despite market projections for a drop, largely due to increased spending on gasoline and other fuel.

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