China’s manufacturing activity recovered in March as workers returned to businesses, despite the expanding coronavirus outbreak overseas denting foreign demand, a Caixin-sponsored survey showed Wednesday, reported Caixin.
The Caixin China General Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), which gives an independent snapshot of the country’s manufacturing sector, rebounded to 50.1 in March from a record low of 40.3 the previous month. A number above 50 indicates an expansion in activity, while a reading below that signals a contraction.
As China’s coronavirus epidemic has been generally contained thanks to draconian control measures, policymakers have begun to focus on how to minimize the impact of the unprecedented disruption to the economy. Workers have been able to return to factories as travel restrictions have been gradually lifted, so manufacturers are resuming operations, though they are still facing headwinds from sluggish demand and dislocated supply chains.
The level of manufacturing expansion in March was similar to that seen before the pandemic, said Zhong Zhengsheng, director of macroeconomic analysis with consultancy CEBM Group Ltd., a subsidiary of Caixin Insight Group.