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China's PMI declines signal long slog toward economic recovery

'Zero-COVID' policy seen hindering business, with private companies at most risk

The coronavirus, and China's efforts to stamp it out, have weighed on wide swaths of the country's economy.

BEIJING -- China's lackluster factory and service activity data released Monday suggests its economy's continuing struggle to bounce back from a pandemic slump, with small private businesses facing an especially uncertain outlook amid rigid COVID restrictions.

October purchasing managers' indexes came in below 50 for both the manufacturing and nonmanufacturing sectors, indicating contractions from the previous month. The manufacturing PMI had briefly ticked above 50 in September, while the nonmanufacturing index last fell below the boom-or-bust line in May, during the protracted lockdown in Shanghai.

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