China manufacturing activity rebounds in January [Agence France-Presse]

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China’s factory activity expanded in January after four months of contraction, official data showed Tuesday, as its economy rebounded following the relaxation of strict Covid-19 curbs.

The official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) — a key gauge of factory output in the world’s second-largest economy — rose to 50.1 this month, from 47.0 in December, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The figures bucked a downward trend since September and broke into expansion territory of above 50 points.

The non-manufacturing PMI, which includes the services and construction sector, stood at 54.4 in January, up from 41.6 in December.

Beijing last month abruptly dropped its strict zero-Covid policy, which had mandated strict lockdowns, sparking protests and hammering business.

The country’s economy grew just three percent last year — its slowest pace in four decades excluding pandemic-hit 2020 — as Covid restrictions and a crisis in the property market hampered growth.

Read more: China manufacturing activity rebounds in January [Agence France-Presse]

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