Activity in China’s manufacturing and services sectors contracted in March, according to official surveys that offer the first broad glimpse of the economic cost of efforts to contain the highly transmissible Omicron variant in some of the country’s most important industrial hubs. The surveys suggest output in China’s powerhouse manufacturing sector shrank in March, as lockdowns hit factories in industrial districts ranging from Changchun in northeastern China to the southern technology hub of Shenzhen. The services-sector activity also tumbled, as Covid-19 and government efforts to smother it kept people away from malls, restaurants and hotels. Economists at Goldman Sachs estimate the regions experiencing the worst Covid-19 outbreaks account for around 30% of China’s annual national output, underlining the strain the virus is putting on an economy already grappling with weakening overseas demand […]