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China’s economy grew 3% last year, not even half 2021’s rate

China’s economic growth fell to 3% last year under pressure from antivirus controls and a real estate slump but is gradually reviving after restrictions that kept millions of people at home were lifted.

Growth of the world’s second largest economy slid to 2.9% over a year earlier in December from the previous month’s 3.9%, government data showed Tuesday.

Forecasters say activity is reviving but wary consumers are returning only gradually to shopping malls and restaurants amid a surge in COVID-19 infections. The government says the peak of that wave appears to have passed.

Last year’s expansion was less than half of 2021’s 8.1% growth.

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