Official gauges of China’s factory and non-factory activity plunged to record lows in February as the nation’s economy struggled to resume normal production as it faced the coronavirus epidemic, reported the Wall Street Journal.
The official manufacturing purchasing managers index tumbled to 35.7 in February from 50 in January, indicating a deep contraction. February’s reading from the National Bureau of Statistics on Saturday was the first official data for a full month of economic activity in China since the coronavirus began affecting the economy in late January.
The index dropped to 38.8 in November 2008, when the financial crisis prompted steep losses on Wall Street and sent shockwaves through the global economy. The 50 mark separates expansion from contraction.
China’s nonmanufacturing PMI, also released on Saturday, sank to a record low of 29.6 in February from 54.1 in January. The nonmanufacturing PMI covers such services as retail, aviation and software as well as real estate and construction.