Factory activities down in China

Factory activity in China slowed in April as a global shortage of shipping containers hindered the movement of goods, official data showed Friday.

The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), a key gauge of manufacturing activity, came in at 51.1 this month — lower than in March but still above the 50-point mark separating growth from contraction, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

But challenges remained, with some companies reporting problems “such as chip shortages, blockages in international logistics, a lack of containers, and rising freight rates”, said NBS senior statistician Zhao Qinghe in a statement.

This has affected the delivery time of suppliers in high-tech manufacturing, particularly in the past three months, while the procurement cycle of raw materials has become longer, weighing on production.

World trade is being slowed by a shortage of containers because of skewed demand during the pandemic, which has seized up the highly coordinated flow of goods around the world.


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