BEIJING (AP) — Manufacturing activity in the world’s second largest economy grew at a slower pace in January compared to the previous month, according to an official government measure, as the country’s strict “zero-tolerance” COVID-19 measures put a dampener on economic activity.
The purchasing manager’s index, tracked by China’s National Bureau of Statistics, slipped to 50.1 from 50.3 in December, continuing a third month of weak growth. A separate PMI by the business magazine Caixin showed on Sunday that manufacturing activity fell even further, contracting from 50.9 in December to 49.1 in January.
PMI is tracked on a 100-point scale in which numbers above 50 show activity expanding and below show a contraction.
New orders, which are measured in a sub-index, also fell, dropping to 49.3, according to the official measure. New export orders activity also continued to contract, although at a slightly slower pace in January.
Chinese exports have been a consistent bright spot throughout the pandemic.