China factory, services activities slide to 7-month lows on COVID curbs

China factory, services activities slide to 7-month lows on COVID curbs

access_time2022-12-01 09:20:52

China's manufacturing and services activities shrank further in November to seven-month lows, official data showed, stung by the country's strict COVID-19 restrictions and rising infections that analysts said will hurt the economy well into 2023.

As the coronavirus has spread in China, Beijing has imposed prolonged lockdowns in several places. The clampdowns have hit production at the world's biggest iPhone factory of Apple Inc in China, and, according to an analyst's estimate, now impact about a quarter of the country's gross domestic product.

The stringent COVID-19 measures also stoked rare street protests across many cities over the weekend.

Against this backdrop, the official manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) came in at 48.0 for November against 49.2 in the previous month, the lowest reading in seven months, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Wednesday. Economists in a Reuters poll had expected a PMI of 49.0.

Separately, the non-manufacturing PMI, which looks at service sector activity, fell to 46.7 from 48.7 in October, also the lowest reading in seven months.

The 50-point mark separates contraction from growth on a monthly basis.

The world's second-largest economy, already suffering from the impact of a property slump and weakening global demand for Chinese goods, is facing added pressure from new COVID-19 cases which hit a record on Nov. 27. Cases have edged lower since then.


The sub-indexes for manufacturing PMI including output, employment and suppliers' delivery times all shrank in November at a faster pace than the month before, the data showed.

New orders and new export orders sub-indexes both fell further, largely driven by weakening domestic and foreign demand.

China's blue-chip stock index CSI300 and the Shanghai Composite Index rose slightly on Wednesday despite the sluggish factory activity, partly driven by government support policies.

Chinese authorities this month rolled out a flurry of policies to prop up the economy, including reserve requirement ratio cuts and COVID-19 fine-tuning measures, while loosening financing curbs to rescue the property sector.

The securities regulator earlier this week lifted a ban on equity refinancing for listed firms, in the latest support measure for the cash-squeezed real estate sector.

The official manufacturing PMI largely focuses on big and state-owned firms. The private sector Caixin manufacturing PMI, which centres more on small firms and coastal regions, will be published on Thursday.

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