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Friday, August 12, 2022
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China’s manufacturing, services sectors slow down in March

China manufacturing

The last time both PMI indexes simultaneously were below the 50-point mark was in February 2020, when China was facing the initial outbreak of the new coronavirus

As China is at peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the country’s manufacturing and services sectors have witnessed a downfall in the month of March, an official survey showed on Thursday.

The official manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to 49.5 from 50.2 in February, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said, while the non-manufacturing PMI eased to 48.4 from 51.6 in February, according to Xinhua News Agency.

A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below reflects contraction.

The last time both PMI indexes simultaneously were below the 50-point mark that separates contraction from growth was in February 2020, when China was facing the initial outbreak of the new coronavirus.

The world’s second-largest economy revved up in the first two months of 2022, with some key indicators blowing past expectations. But it is now at risk of slowing sharply as authorities restrict production and mobility in many cities, including Shanghai and Shenzhen, to stamp out a rash of COVID outbreaks.

Amid the rapidly increasing COVID-19 cases, the Chinese authorities have imposed the strictest lockdown measures in the city of 26 million since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, a media report said.

The city which is one of the important financial hubs of the country has been placed under lockdown as a result of China’s ‘zero-covid’ strategy, Vision Times said.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at the conclusion of the fifth session of the 13th National People’s Congress, the highest legislative body of China had laid out the economic growth target of China in the forthcoming year and briefed the media on the challenges of achieving the desired growth rate.

A growth rate of about 5.5 per cent is high-standard stability, which is an improvement. It’s not easy to achieve, and has to be supported by relevant macro-economic policies, Li said.

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