Production in China is improving as the fight against viruses weakens

BEIJING (AP) – China’s manufacturing activity resumed in May after the government eased anti-virus restrictions that closed Shanghai and other industrial centers, an official poll said on Tuesday.

The monthly index of procurement managers of the National Statistics Agency and the industry group, China Federal Logistics and Procurement, improved to 49.6% from April’s 47.4 on a 100-point scale. Figures below 50 indicate a decrease in activity.

New orders, exports and employment have improved.

This week in Shanghai, China’s most populous city, more businesses were allowed to resume operations after the outbreaks were recognized as under control. Other industrial centers, including Shenzhen in the south and Changchun in the northeast, were also temporarily shut down, disrupting production and trade.

Evidence shows that “activities have begun to resume as containment measures have been lifted,” said Shiana Yue of Capital Economics in a report. “The recovery is likely to remain weak amid weak external demand and labor market tensions.”

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