China’s factory activity improves after Shanghai reopens

BEIJING — China’s manufacturing activity improved in June after anti-virus controls that shut down Shanghai and other industrial centers were eased, a survey showed today.

The monthly purchasing managers’ index released by the national statistics bureau and an industry group rose to 50.2 from May’s 49.6 on a 100-point scale on which numbers above 50 indicate activity increasing.

The survey showed employment and new orders contracted in May but at a slower rate.

Forecasters expect economic growth for the quarter ending in June to fall close to zero after Shanghai and other industrial centers were shut down to contain coronavirus outbreaks. Factories, offices and shops were allowed to reopen but economists say it might take months for activity to return to normal.

The latest data indicate “full recovery will take some time,” said Iris Pang of ING in a report.