China’s Economy Seen Emerging From Zero-Covid Shadow

Economic activity in China expanded sharply for a second straight month, in an early sign the country may be shaking off the impact of pandemic curbs sooner than expected, the Wall Street Journal reported. An official gauge of manufacturing rose at the fastest pace in more than a decade in February, while export orders expanded for the first time in almost two years, the National Bureau of Statistics said Wednesday. Services and construction activity also expanded further, the purchasing managers index report showed. Also published Wednesday, the unofficial Caixin PMI survey that measures activity across more private-sector and smaller companies pointed to improvements in orders, pricing power, employment and supply chains, with business confidence at its highest since March 2021. Some economists caution that while activity appears to have snapped back sharply in China, the spillover effect to the rest of Asia might be limited. Read more. (Subscription required.)