Chinese factory activity improves after Shanghai reopens

BEIJING (AP) — China’s manufacturing activity improved in June after the relaxation of virus controls that shuttered Shanghai and other industrial hubs, a survey showed Thursday.

The monthly Purchasing Managers’ Index released by the National Statistics Office and an industry group rose to 50.2 from 49.6 in May on a 100-point scale where numbers above 50 indicate an increase in l ‘activity.

The survey showed that employment and new orders contracted in May, but at a slower pace.

Forecasters expect economic growth for the quarter ending in June to fall to near zero after Shanghai and other industrial hubs shut down to contain coronavirus outbreaks. Factories, offices and shops have been allowed to reopen, but economists say it could take months for activity to return to normal.

The latest data indicates that “full recovery will take some time,” ING’s Iris Pang said in a report.

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