CHINA’S FACTORIES SLOW DOWN IN FEBRUARY
China’s factory activity expanded in February at a slower pace than a month earlier, hitting the lowest level since last May and missing market expectations after brief COVID-19-related disruptions earlier in the year, Reuters reported.
The official manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) fell to 50.6 from 51.3 in January, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed on Sunday, remaining above the 50-point mark that separates growth from contraction. Analysts had expected it to decline to 51.1.
Chinese factory activity normally goes dormant during the Lunar New Year break as workers return to their home towns.
This year, the government appealed to workers to remain local to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Generally, China’s economic recovery has been gathering pace due to robust exports, pent-up demand and government stimulus.
The official PMI, which largely focuses on big and state-owned firms, showed the sub-index for new export orders was 48.8 in February compared with 50.2 in January, slipping back into contraction after months boosted by overseas demand.