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April 1, 2020

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PMI shows signs of economic recovery

CHINA reported visible recovery in economic activities in March as the domestic COVID-19 situation began to ease, with the manufacturing activity index re-entering the expansion zone after a weak February reading, official data showed yesterday.

The purchasing managers’ index for China’s manufacturing sector firmed up to 52 in March from 35.7 in February, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

The above-expectation manufacturing PMI came as the country’s arduous efforts in coordinating epidemic control and economic and social development have generally filtered through, according to Zhao Qinghe, a senior NBS statistician.

About 98.7 percent of China’s manufacturing enterprises have reported work resumption, pulling the PMI of enterprises upward dramatically, the NBS survey showed.

Improvements were showed in both the supply side and demand side, with both indices seeing a double-digit increase in the past month, according to the data.

PMI for high-tech manufacturing, equipment manufacturing and consumer goods all stood in expansion zone, deriving vitality from the quickened restoration of the sector.

Meanwhile, the PMI for China’s non-manufacturing sector also bottomed out to come in at 52.3, up from 29.6 in February. The PMI of the service sector, once dragged by the COVID-19 outbreak, also posted double-digit growth to stand at 51.8, data showed.

However, the NBS said in a note on its website that a single-month rise does not necessarily mean the production has been back to pre-outbreak levels, noting that more data should be observed and the global spread of the virus has brought new challenges to the domestic economy.

The upturn of economy requires more than three consecutive months of an upward trend in PMI. The higher month-on-month PMI was partly due to a low comparison base in February when the economy was almost at a standstill hit by the epidemic.


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