China’s Economic Activity Returns to Growth in January

Following the removal of pandemic restrictions, China’s economy saw a growth in January for the first time since October 2022, according to official data released on Tuesday. 

During the month of January, manufacturing in China registered at 50.1, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Tuesday; this figure is higher than the 50-point line that separates expansion from contraction.

The figure is up from December’s 47 and above the expectation from Reuters of 49.

Non-manufacturing PMI in China, which includes the service, catering, and building industries, also increased to 54.5 in January from 41.6 in December.

After a week-long Lunar New Year holiday that concluded last Friday, this data is one of the first NBS gauges of how the economy has fared after the end of China’s zero-Covid regime.

According to China’s senior epidemiologist, 80% of the population was infected with COVID-19 before the holidays began, and the infection spread around the country more quickly and with fewer disruptions than economists had predicted.

On Saturday, China’s cabinet promised to encourage a rise in imports and revive consumer spending. Reduced outside demand is causing problems for China’s manufacturing sector.

Last month, China’s exports fell 9.9% compared to the same month a year earlier.