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Industrial activity declined in China despite the lifting of anti-Covid restrictions

According to official figures released Saturday, China’s industrial activity fell sharply in December for the third month in a row despite Beijing easing restrictions linked to the COVID-19 pandemic at the start of the month.

The Purchasing Managers’ Index, the main one for monitoring industrial activity, scored 47 points, compared to 48 points in November, and below the 50-point threshold that separates growth from contraction, according to data from the National Statistics Center.

For more than two years, China has continued to implement the “zero Covid” strategy to limit the spread of the virus, which has had repercussions on the global economy, according to Agence France-Presse.

On December 7, Beijing suddenly decided to ease restrictions on Covid-19, knowing that it was still facing difficulties due to a new outbreak of infections.

“In December, due to the repercussions of the epidemic and other factors … China’s economic prosperity, in general, declined,” Zhao Qinghe, an expert at the National Statistics Center, said in a statement.

He added, “The pandemic significantly impacted the production of commercial activities, demand, employee attendance, logistical issues, and distribution.”

The index has been in negative territory since September. The figure recorded in September was lower than the forecast of 47.8 points by Bloomberg analysts.

“As the epidemiological situation gradually improves, the market trend is expected to rebound later,” Zhao wrote.

On the other hand, the non-manufacturing PMI, which includes the services and construction sectors, also declined this month to 41.6 points, compared to 46.7 points in November.

The government had set a growth target of about 5.5% this year after achieving more than 8% in 2021.

But many economists now consider the 2022 target unrealistic.

China will reveal its GDP performance for the year in January.



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