China manufacturing begins to rebound as COVID-19 restrictions ease
May's numbers showed improvement for new orders, exports and employment
Manufacturing in China started to improve in May after the country lifted coronavirus lockdowns that shut down China's richest and most populous city of Shanghai, as well as other industrial areas, according to an official survey released Tuesday.
The Purchasing Managers' Index of the National Bureau of Statistics of China's manufacturing industry jumped from 47.4% in April to 49.6% this month on a 100-point scale. Numbers below 50 reveal activity contracting.
New orders, exports and employment all improved during the month of May.
More businesses in Shanghai are allowed to reopen this week after COVID-19 outbreaks were considered by the government as under control.
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Other industrial centers like Shenzhen and Changchun were also forced to shut down this spring due to the coronavirus, which disrupted the cities' manufacturing and trade.
Tuesday's data shows that "activity has started to rebound as containment measures were rolled back," Capital Economics' Sheana Yue said in a report, adding that the recovery "is likely to remain tepid amid weak external demand and labor market strains."
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.