It was not surprising. But it was still shocking – and a likely indicator of what is to come for the rest of the world.

Activity in the Chinese economy – the second largest in the world, indeed by some measures already the largest – fell by almost a tenth in the first three months of this year as a result of various state-imposed lockdowns to suppress the spread of coronavirus through the world’s most populous nation.

Most headline reports cite the 6.8 per cent fall in activity based on measuring activity relative to the same quarter a year earlier (2019).

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