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China’s ‘Slow, Painful’ Reopening Threatens More Economic Strain

  • Beijing and Guangzhou subway usage slumps as cases rise
  • Pent-up demand will be lackluster into next year, Nomura says

China’s economy is bracing for major disruption into next year as coronavirus cases surge and challenge the government’s recent attempt to maintain Covid Zero but reduce the economic and social damage it causes.

The country is in for a “protracted and costly” reopening, with any release of pent-up demand likely to be lackluster as many households have already depleted their savings, according to Nomura Holdings Inc. economists. Hao Hong, chief economist at GROW Investment Group, said productivity is being hit as cities force residents to get regularly tested.