Faced with its worst Covid-19 outbreak yet, China has been enforcing an expanding number of mass quarantines, strict lockdowns and border controls. The measures may yet work, but official data released on Monday show they are exacting a grim toll on the world’s second-largest economy.

China’s economy expanded 4.8 percent in the first three months of this year compared to the same period last year. That pace was barely faster than the final three months of last year, and it also obscured a looming problem.


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