China’s Economic Recovery from COVID-19 Shows Signs of Slowing

Official gauges across China’s economy fell short of expectations in April, hit in part by semiconductor shortages, suggesting that the economy’s strong pandemic bounceback is starting to lose some momentum more than a year into the recovery, the Wall Street Journal reported. China’s official purchasing manager’s indexes showed manufacturing activity falling more sharply than expected, dropping to 51.1 in April, according to data released Friday by the National Bureau of Statistics — lower than March’s 51.9 reading and falling short of the 51.6 median forecast expected by economists. Though the reading remained above the 50 mark that separates expansion from contraction, China’s statistics bureau said global chip shortages, international logistics jams and rising delivery costs have weighed on manufacturers’ operations. Friday’s official readings also showed continued softness in the service sector—underscoring concerns among economists that domestic spending, a persistent weak point in the recovery, would hold back China’s economy in the coming months. Read more.