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Economy

China April factory activity contracts at steeper pace

Consumption takes big hit as COVID lockdowns paralyze Shanghai, other cities

The Shanghai Central Business District is empty amid a lockdown meant to halt the spread of COVID-19 on April 16.   © Reuters

BEIJING (Reuters) -- China's factory activity contracted at a steeper pace in April as widespread COVID-19 lockdowns halted industrial production and disrupted supply chains, raising fears of a sharp economic slowdown in the second quarter that will weigh on global growth.

The official manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) fell to 47.4 in April from 49.5 in March, in a second straight month of contraction, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Saturday. That was the lowest since February 2020.

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