China's factory activity falls at a slower pace on easing curbs: Report

May's contraction was the second-sharpest slump since February 2020, suggesting the recovery remains fragile

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Wednesday, June 01, 2022, 10:25 AM IST
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Surveyed firms tied the output drop to the impact of lingering pandemic-related restrictions on operations and subdued customer demand.. /Workers are seen at a factory of Great Wall Motors in Yongchuan District of Chongqing, southwest China, March 18, 2020. | Xinhua/Huang Wei

China's factory activity shrank less sharply in May as COVID-19 curbs eased and some production resumed, a private sector survey showed on Wednesday, improving from a 26-month low in April, Reuters said.

The Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose to 48.1 in May from 46.0 the previous month and was slightly above a Reuters poll of 48.0. May's contraction was the second-sharpest slump since February 2020, suggesting the recovery remains fragile.

The 50-point index mark separates growth from contraction on a monthly basis. Surveyed firms tied the output drop to the impact of lingering pandemic-related restrictions on operations and subdued customer demand.

A sub-index for new orders fell for the third consecutive month in May but at a slower pace. The gauge for new export orders also shrank less but remained in contraction for the 10th straight month. Some firms blamed the weakness in orders to the pandemic, increased difficulties in shipping items as well as the Russia-Ukraine war, Reuters report said.

The private survey, focusing more on small firms and coastal regions, was in line with Tuesday's official manufacturing PMI which rose to 49.6 from 47.4 in April. Given the easing of lockdowns in some regions where COVID cases dropped and the phased reopening of business activities in Shanghai, most sub-indexes under the Caixin PMI fell less sharply, Reuters said.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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