In recent weeks, new cases of Covid-19 have emerged in parts of mainland China as a highly contagious delta variant spreading across the country.
So far this month, the number of locally transmitted cases reported in mainland China has risen to 878 — more than double the 390 cases recorded in the entire month of July, according to a CNBC tally of daily data released by China’s National Health Commission.
To be clear, the number of infections reported in China is much lower than in many countries – including the United States where new cases have emerged. It averaged about 100,000 per day, and in Southeast Asia where daily cases have risen sharply.
However, Chinese authorities have imposed targeted closures, tightened movement controls and ordered extensive testing to curb the recent resurgence of Covid cases.
Economists have raised concerns about China’s intolerance to Covid. The government has been adamant about stamping out any flare-ups in Covid cases, even as many countries around the world – including the UK and Singapore – begin to accept that the virus will never go away.
The recent rise in Covid cases in China comes as some drivers of economic growth continue to lose momentum as domestic consumption struggles to fully recover, HSBC economists said in a report on Wednesday.
Economists note that the number of new infections reported in China was the highest since the outbreak in northern China in December 2020.
“As such, many provinces and cities have tightened social distancing restrictions and issued travel bans in cities and counties,” they said in the report.
“These measures will inevitably affect growth, especially domestic consumption, which has not yet fully recovered to pre-pandemic levels,” analysts said.
HSBC said mounting economic pressures could force Beijing to adopt more “supportive” fiscal policies. That could include more infrastructure spending and tax cuts for small and medium businesses, the bank said.
Zombie specialist. Friendly twitter guru. Internet buff. Organizer. Coffee trailblazer. Lifelong problem solver. Certified travel enthusiast. Alcohol geek.