China’s sprawling manufacturing sector, accounting for a third of the world’s second-largest economy by value, lost momentum in March amid still-weak export orders, tapping the brakes on the country’s economic recovery from restrictive COVID-19 policies, reports Reuters. The Caixin/S&P Global manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) fell to 50.0 in March. That followed February’s reading of 51.6, which indicated the first monthly activity expansion in seven months.
The survey results, released on Monday, were well below expectations of 51.7 in a Reuters poll and echoed slower growth in an official PMI released on Friday. The 50-point index mark separates growth from contraction on a monthly basis.
China’s economy showed signs of a recovery in the first two months of the year, led by a pickup in services after the end of three years of strict COVID policies that had disrupted commerce and muzzled domestic demand.
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