China April factory activity contracts at steeper pace as lockdowns bite

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BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s factory activity contracted at a steeper pace in April as widespread COVID-19 lockdowns halted industrial production and disrupted supply chains, raising fears of a sharp economic slowdown in the second quarter that will weigh on global growth. The official manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to 47.4 in April from 49.5 in March, in a second straight month of contraction, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Saturday. That was the lowest since February 2020. A Reuters poll had expected the PMI to ease to 48, well below the 50-point mark tha…

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