China manufacturing rebounds in March amid tech, virus risks

BEIJING — China’s factory activity rebounded in March from a three-month slowdown as export orders rose, a survey showed today.

A monthly index of manufacturing issued by the China’s statistics agency and an industry group rose to 51.9 from February’s 50.6 on a 100-point scale on which numbers above 50 show activity expanding.

Chinese manufacturing has rebounded to above pre-pandemic levels in most industries but consumer and export demand have been slower to recover.

In March, a measure of new export orders rebounded to growth, registering 51.2, up from February’s 48.8, according to the China Federation of Logistics & Purchasing. The index of total new orders rose to 53.6 from 51.5.

“We see this rebound as a fragile one,” said Iris Pang of ING in a report. She pointed to risks including U.S. sanctions on Chinese technology companies and renewed anti-virus measures abroad.