China’s March Manufacturing Activity Growth Slows amid Weaker Demand

Chinese manufacturing activity dropped in March, according to a private poll released on Monday, as slowing production and weaker global demand added to concerns about a post-COVID recovery.

The manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) from Caixin/S&P Global dropped to 50.0 in March. It came after February’s 51.6 figure, which marked the first monthly growth in seven months.

The reading fell short of Reuters Poll’s 51.7 forecast and matched Friday’s official PMI’s weaker growth. 

A housing slowdown, weakening global demand, and financial uncertainty have cast doubt on the resilience of China’s rebound, despite the first two months of the year saw modest recovery thanks to a robust rise in the services sector.

The Chinese government has set a goal for economic growth this year of roughly 5%, up from last year’s 3% expansion, which was one of the lowest showings in almost half a century.