China’s manufacturing activity increased in July and export orders strengthened despite weak US and European demand, a survey showed on Friday, with the latest signs that the world’s second-largest economy is slowly recovering from the coronovirus epidemic.
The monthly purchasing managers index released by the Chinese Bureau of Statistics and an industry group rose to 51.1 from 50.9 in June on a 100-point scale. The numbers above 50 are increasing.
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According to the National Bureau of Statistics and China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing a measure of new orders increased from 51.7 to 51.4. New export orders rose 5.8 points to 48.4.
The federation said in a statement, “The results show that the Chinese economy continues to be on the upswing.”
China, where the epidemic began in December, was the first economy to cease fighting the virus, and the first time the ruling Communist Party tried to revive trade after declaring victory over the disease in March.
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The economy unexpectedly grew 3.2 percent in the three months ending in June, up from a contraction of 6.8 percent in the previous quarter.
Manufacturing is close to normal activity but retailing, restaurants and other service industries are struggling.
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Forecasts warn that exports may decline again once a year as demand for masks, surgical gloves and other medical supplies increases. This will increase the burden on Chinese consumers and increase spending to monitor government incentive spending.