Chinese manufacturing data for April expected to show slight expansion

China’s Bureau of National Statistics is today set to release April’s purchasing managers’ index (PMI) data, a key indicator of

china manufacturing index

Chinatopix/AP

China’s Bureau of National Statistics is today set to release April’s purchasing managers’ index (PMI) data, a key indicator of the health of the country’s manufacturing sector.

After February’s record low of 35.7 and a jump in the March index to 52, April’s PMI is expected to fall to 50 due to the global trade slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. A reading above the 50-point mark indicates an expansion in activity.

The long-term effect of the pandemic is likely to see Chinese manufacturing expand and its economic influence globally greatly increase, especially in Asia. With the latest data showing that some 84% of Chinese mid-sized and small businesses have already reopened, China’s economy is also expected to grow 1.2% in the year ahead.

Combined with quickly solidifying plans for the China-backed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (the rival trade deal to the Trans-Pacific Partnership), Beijing is poised to increase its economic influence in the front of international trade. As COVID-19 shutdowns subside and economies begin rebuilding, demand for Chinese manufactured goods—such as electrical machinery, clothing and automobile parts—and Belt and Road Initiative construction projects will likely skyrocket, boosting especially the long-term outlooks for Chinese construction giants.

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