China Factory Activity Shows Unexpected Growth in September

China’s official PMI surprisingly grew in September to 50.1, data showed on Friday, exceeding analysts’ expectations of 49.6.

Any figure higher than 50 indicates expansion.

Separately, the Caixin/S&P Global manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index, a private survey of factory activity, fell from 49.5 in August to 48.1 in September. That was much lower than the predicted outcome of 49.5.

“Subdued demand conditions and lower production requirements led firms to cut back on their purchasing activity in September, with the rate of decline the quickest in four months,” the Caixin press release said.

This year, China’s commitment to Covid Zero policy has hampered the country’s economic recovery by disrupting supply chains, reducing consumer spending, and damaging business confidence. Profits for manufacturing companies fell in the first eight months of the year, according to data released earlier this week.

The official non-manufacturing PMI came in at 50.6 in September, down from 52.6 in August.