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World China's factory activity rebounds as work slowly resumes

05:15  31 march  2020
05:15  31 march  2020 Source:   msn.com

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Chinese manufacturing activity rebounded strongly in March, signaling that the world’ s second-largest economy is restarting just as it Employees work on the assembly line to make protective masks at a factory operated by Dasheng Health Products Manufacturing Co. in Shanghai, China , on Friday, Jan.

BEIJING (Reuters) - Activity in China ' s vast manufacturing sector likely remained in contraction in March, though it was set to stabilize slightly from the But as locally transmitted infections dwindle, most businesses have reopened and life for millions of people has started to slowly return to normal.

a group of people in a room: Businesses in China have gradually resumed work after being brought to a standstill to contain the spread of the virus © STR Businesses in China have gradually resumed work after being brought to a standstill to contain the spread of the virus

Factory activity in China rebounded in March from a record low, according to official data released Tuesday, returning to expansion territory while the coronavirus pandemic continues to devastate the global economy.

Businesses have gradually resumed work after being brought to a standstill this year to contain the spread of the deadly pathogen, although further challenges loom on the horizon -- such as sluggish external demand as the virus spreads rapidly across the world.

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Manufacturing activity has resumed more quickly than construction, but factories have struggled to boost capacity utilization rates due to interrupted supply chains. Pent-up demand should result in a boost to flat steel sales as activity recovers. Futures and physical markets rallied in the March 2-6

And so, beginning last week, factories across China started slowly reopening. China ' s purchasing managers' index, a measure compiled by China ' s state statistics agency and an industry group that measures manufacturing and service sector activity , plunged to 35.7 in February from January's 50.

China's Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), a key gauge of manufacturing activity, surprised at 52.0 in March, according to National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) figures.

This was higher than the 44.8 analysts expected in a Bloomberg survey.

The NBS said the number "reflects that over half of surveyed companies had improvements in their resumption of work and production from the month before, but it does not represent that our country's economic operations have returned to normal levels".

The figure is a marked rebound from 35.7 in February -- the worst since China began recording the data in 2005. A reading above 50 suggests growth in the sector.

Non-manufacturing PMI came in at 52.3, also well above analyst predictions.

But economists have cautioned that data may be less rosy for the rest of March.

Nomura analysts Lu Ting, Wang Lisheng and Wang Jing said in a note ahead of the PMI data release that they expect "deeply negative growth for almost all activity data in March", given the relatively slow business resumption rate and slump in external demand.

The pandemic has now left more than a third of the world's population confined to their homes, with economists predicting the most violent recession in recent history to follow.

China, where the first virus cases emerged, is also among the first country to log the crushing impact from strict quarantine measures aimed at curbing the outbreak.

Delayed and only for two: BVB resumes training .
After two weeks of "home office", the Borussia Dortmund professionals returned to the grass for the first time on Monday. Regulated training operations cannot be said at BVB either. © Getty Images Emre Can (l.) And Mario Götze, here at a Dortmund unit before the Corona crisis. For the first time since the game was suspended due to the Corona crisis, the BVB professionals returned to the training area in Brackel for one session. But it did not become a normal, common training session.

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