China’s manufacturing activity hits two-year low

Manufacturing activity in China fell in April to its lowest level since February 2020. It is weighed down by an epidemic outbreak of Covid cases which is weighing on the country’s economy, according to an official index published on Saturday.

The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), a key indicator of manufacturing activity, stood at 47.4 in April. A number above 50 indicates an expansion in activity and below that indicates a contraction.

Authorities said the “decline in production and demand” has deepened.

Since March, an epidemic outbreak, the strongest since the beginning of 2020, has affected almost all the provinces of China.

Beijing intends to continue its zero Covid policy, which consists of restricting movement and confining tens of millions of people, particularly in the northeast of the country and in Shanghai, the Chinese economic capital. Its 25 million inhabitants have been largely confined to their homes since the beginning of April.

These strict measures have blocked supply chains due to a lack of truckers, while goods have accumulated in the world’s busiest container port.

“The decline in production and demand has deepened,” Zhao Qinghe, senior statistician with the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), said in a statement on Saturday.

ats, afp

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