China’s economy was losing momentum in the first quarter, even before the full impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on commodity prices and global supply chains was felt. The country’s central bank warned about the “triple pressures from shrinking demand, supply shocks and weakening expectations” in its quarterly review of monetary policy published on March 30. Policymakers blamed the increasingly severe and uncertain environment on the continuing epidemic overseas, escalating geopolitical conflicts, and the increasing frequency of domestic coronavirus outbreaks. In the first quarter, the bank’s regular survey of 5,000 enterprises nationwide found both domestic and export orders shrinking at the fastest rates since the epidemic’s first wave two years ago and before early 2016. The domestic orders index fell to 41.4, while export orders fell to 40.9, both well below the 50-point threshold that divides expanding activity from a contraction. ( ) […]