China factory activity cools in April

China factory activity cools in April

China factory activity cools in April

China’s manufacturing activity contracted in April, official figures showed yesterday, due to slack global demand and a slow domestic recovery after lifting COVID-related curbs.    

The official manufacturing purchasin-19g managers’ index (PMI) - a key gauge of Chinese factory output - fell to 49.2 in April from 51.9 in March, and below the 50-point mark that separates expansion and contraction in activity, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed.    

Analysts polled by Bloomberg News had expected April factory activity to come at 51.4.    

The drop comes after February recorded the highest reading in more than a decade as factories returned to normal following a surge in COVID cases.    

China’s economy grew 4.5 percent in the first three months of the year as the country reopened after dropping strict health controls that helped keep the coronavirus in check but battered businesses and supply chains.    

But the world’s second-largest economy is also beset by a series of other crises, from a debt-laden property sector to flagging consumer confidence, global inflation, the threat of recession elsewhere, and geopolitical tensions with the United States.      

The government has set a comparatively modest growth target of around five percent this year, a goal Premier Li Qiang has warned could be hard to achieve.