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China Manufacturing, Services Contract In March

China’s manufacturing and service sectors contracted in March due to the lockdown, survey results from the National Bureau of Statistics showed on Thursday.

The non-manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to 48.4 in March from 51.6 in February. A score below 50.0 indicates contraction in the sector.

Similarly, the manufacturing PMI came in at 49.5, down from 50.2 in the previous month.

Although manufacturing and non-manufacturing PMIs fell below 50.0 due to lockdowns for mass-testing in big cities, there will be a rebound in April, Iris Pang, an economist at ING said.

Most of the population should be able to return to work as usual after this lockdown, the economist noted. One uncertainty is that people with positive Covid cases found from this round of mass tests could remain in isolation facilities in April.

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