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China's Manufacturing Contracted in June

Export orders decreased.

A laborer works on the production line for rubber gloves at a factory making work safety products in Gaomi in eastern China's Shandong Province, Saturday, June 17, 2023.
A laborer works on the production line for rubber gloves at a factory making work safety products in Gaomi in eastern China's Shandong Province, Saturday, June 17, 2023.
Chinatopix via AP

BEIJING (AP) β€” China's factory activity contracted for another month in June as export orders decreased, an official survey showed Friday, adding to signs an economic rebound following the end of anti-virus controls is cooling.

A monthly purchasing managers' index issued by the national statistics agency and an industry group edged up to 49 from May's 48.8 on a 100-point scale on which readings below 50 show activity contracting.

The world's second-largest economy revived following the end in December of anti-virus controls on travel and business activity. But that faded faster than expected due to lackluster consumer spending at home and weak demand for exports following interest rate hikes in the United States and Europe to cool inflation.

Despite that, China's No. 2 leader, Premier Li Qiang, said this week economic growth accelerated in the April-June period from the previous quarter's 4.5% rate. Li gave no details but expressed confidence China can hit the ruling Communist Party's annual growth target of "about 5%."

In June, a measure of new export orders fell to 46.4, down 0.8 points from the previous month, according to the National Bureau of Statistics and the China Federation of Logistics & Purchasing. A measure of employment also declined while production and overall new orders increased,

Growth in factory and consumer activity decelerated in May, earlier official data showed. Exports that month contracted 7.5% from a year earlier. Surveys found unemployment among young people in cities spiked to a record 20.8%.

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