China’s abrupt reversal of its Covid Zero policy pushed economic activity — its service sector in particular — to the slowest pace since February 2020, as the virus swept through major cities and prompted people to stay home and businesses to shut.
The official manufacturing purchasing managers index fell to 47 this month from November’s 48, the National Bureau of Statistics said Saturday. That was worse than an estimate of 47.8 in a Bloomberg survey of economists.
The non-manufacturing index, which measures activity in the construction and services sectors, declined to 41.6 from 46.7 in November, lower than the consensus estimate of 45. A reading below 50 indicates contraction, while anything above suggests expansion. Both readings were the lowest level since February 2020.
The services PMI, a sub-index of the non-manufacturing gauge, fell to 39.4 from 45.1 in November. That’s the lowest reading since February 2020 and the fourth consecutive