China’s Factory Activity Contracts in July amid Higher Raw Material Prices and Covid Spread

China’s official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) unexpectedly fell to 49.0 in July, compared to a reading of 50.2 a month earlier, according to the announcement from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) early Monday.

The data missed Reuters poll expectation of 50.4.

The reading in July was the lowest in three months as the world’s second-largest economy faces higher raw material prices, resulting in tighter profit margins as well as an increase in Covid-19 cases, while the country is trying to curb the spread following its zero-Covid policy.