Beijing: Official data released on Saturday showed that China’s factory activity declined in October, but the world’s second-largest economy continued to recover due to the impact of the coronavirus, so it is still in the growth area.
The closely watched Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) is a key indicator of China’s manufacturing activity. Due to strict pandemic control measures, the index has rebounded sharply after its plunge in February.
In October, the purchasing managers index was 51.4, slightly lower than 51.5 in September. Any number above 50 points indicates growth, while below 50 points indicates contraction.
Zhao Qinghe, a senior statistician at the National Bureau of Statistics, said that this month’s figures showed a “rapid recovery” with the increase in several key indicators including exports, imports and new orders.
Zhao said: “Manufacturing in major economies is rebounding… the rebound in demand is driving up prices.”
He added that textiles, chemical raw materials, chemical products, rubber and plastic products used to fight the pandemic have seen the greatest increase in demand.
In February, after the coronavirus brought most of China to a standstill, China’s manufacturing PMI fell to 35.7 points.
The non-manufacturing PMI index was 55.2 points, an increase of 0.3 percentage points from September, showing further signs of economic recovery.
China is expected to be the only major economy to record positive growth this year.
The ability of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to contain the coronavirus outbreak and the strong global demand for medical equipment have driven a strong recovery, which has almost doubled the country’s economic growth forecast in 2020 to 1.9%.
According to official data, the world’s second largest economy grew by 4.9% year-on-year in the third quarter.
With the end of the strict lockdown measures, the government announced a stimulus plan to alleviate the economic impact of the pandemic, which has recovered from the record contraction in the previous three months.