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China says its factory activity expanded in June

A worker welding truck parts at a factory in Weihai, China, October 18, 2018.

STR | AFP | Getty Images

China on Tuesday said manufacturing activity expanded in June with the official Purchasing Manager’s Index coming in at 50.9.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected the official manufacturing PMI number to come in at 50.4. PMI readings above 50 indicate expansion, while those below that level signal contraction.

In May, official manufacturing PMI came in at 50.6, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

China’s manufacturing activity has been hit by shocks on both the supply and demand fronts due to large-scale lockdowns in many parts of the world aimed at containing the coronavirus pandemic. The virus first emerged late last year in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.

While Chinese factories faced problems fulfilling orders early in the pandemic, they are now faced with a demand slump globally as the number of infected people passed the 10 million threshold, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Another set of factory data will be released on Wednesday by Caixin and IHS Markit. This private survey features a bigger mix of small- and medium-sized firms. In comparison, the official PMI survey typically polls a large proportion of big businesses and state-owned companies.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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