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China manufacturing grows weakly in February

BEIJING (AP) – Chinese manufacturing activity grew weakly in February, hampered by supply disruptions, anti-virus controls and lackluster global demand, two surveys showed yesterday.

A purchasing managers’ index issued by a Chinese business magazine, Caixin, improved to 50.4 from January’s 49.1 on a 100-point scale on which numbers above 50 show activity increasing. A separate PMI issued by the Chinese statistics agency and an industry group edged up to 50.2 from 50.1.

Both surveys showed production accelerating while export orders contracted.

“The job market remained under high pressure,” said economist Wang Zhe of Caixin in a statement. “And we still need to keep an eye on inflationary pressure.”

Official “zero tolerance” anti-disease measures starting in December have disrupted manufacturing and consumer spending. They have imposed restrictions as severe as confining families to their homes in areas with a total of as many as 20 million people.

Workers assemble parts of a low-temperature liquid storage tank at a manufacturing facility in Nantong, China. PHOTO: AP

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