The fragile recovery in China’s economy is pointing to a long road back for the rest of the world too.

A string of top-tier data all showed that China’s factory output, consumer spending and investment continued to improve in May, but there are few signs of a broad based rebound needed to spur a V-shaped recovery.

The worry for the global economy is that if China’s apparent success in containing the coronavirus can’t stoke confidence and a quick return to normal activity, then where can. Those concerns will be compounded by news of an outbreak of virus cases in Beijing that has raised fears of a resurgence of the pandemic.

“China’s experience so far suggests that it will be a hard road back for the global economy,” said Shaun Roache, Asia-Pacific chief economist at S&P Global Ratings, who notes that confidence among Chinese consumers and privately-owned firms remains low. “We still expect a rebound in the second half, but expectations for a surge in pent-up demand may be disappointed.”

Bright spots in China include new house prices, which rose at the fastest pace in seven months in May as the coronavirus shutdowns were unwound. Other key metrics also show improvement.

• Industrial output rose 4.4% from a year earlier in May.
• Retail sales fell 2.8% compared to a drop of 7.5% in April.
• Fixed-asset investment declined 6.3% in the first five months.
• Steel output surged to a record.

Persistent weakness in China’s private sector investment and the clear wariness among consumers reflects both weak domestic conditions and the absence of robust global appetite for Chinese-made goods.

“The lack of demand is the main problem for the Chinese economy right now,” Shen Jianguang, online retailer Inc.’s chief economist, told Bloomberg Television.

Policy makers in Beijing continued their cautious support. The People’s Bank of China supplied banks with 200 billion yuan ($28 billion) in fresh liquidity Monday while letting some previous loans expire, leaving the financial system needing further injections if a looming cash crunch is to be avoided.

The latest read on China comes amid mixed views on how the global recovery is playing out. White House economic director Larry Kudlow on Sunday told CNN there’s a “very good chance” for a V-shaped rebound in the U.S., only days after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell cautioned the recovery will take time.

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