Chinese industrial activity grows for the first time since November after plants have recovered from the seasonal downturn at the beginning of the year, while demand for exports has been shaken by fears of a trade war. The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) in production rose to 51.5 points in March, compared to a 50.6 point estimated by the analysts and 50.3 points in the previous month. The non-production PMI, which includes services and construction, is at 54.6 points, the statistical office said on Saturday, up from 54.4 points in February. The total indicator points 54 points compared to 52.9 points a month earlier.
The industrial activity helps the world’s largest exporter to move through the uncertainty of the new 50 billion USD US tariffs imposed to Chinese goods announced by Donald Trump and Beijing’s response. The international supplies increased in February due to a strong demand for a synchronized global expansion.
The world still expects the administration of the US President Donald Trump to detail the list of products of duties following charges against Beijing for intellectual property breaches. The US Finance Minister Steven Mnuchin said on Monday he was “carefully hopeful” that an agreement with China would be reached while at the same time pressing the Asian country to open its markets more. China’s trade ministry said it was open to talks, but would not succumb to “unilateral compulsion”.
The exporters need to speed up their supplies to avoid higher duties on some products. The PMI will correspond well with GDP in the first quarter, which will be higher than the official target of 6.5%. The growth data will allow for bold reforms, especially for financial debt cuts.
The industrial production grew in March after factories started operating again, the statistics office said. The new export orders rose to 51.3 points from 49 points in February.