China lifts lockdowns, but services still struggle

STORY: Beijing is coming back to life as China lifts lockdowns.

The morning rush-hour is getting busy again.

But new data out Monday (June 6) points to a slow recovery for the country’s services.

The closely watched purchasing managers’ index hit 41.4 in May.

That’s better than the previous month, but still way below the 50-point level that indicates economic growth.

Analysts say the weakness is likely to persist while the government pursues a zero-tolerance approach to virus outbreaks.

Contact-intensive sectors like hotels and restaurants are likely to feel the worst effects.

That’s bad news for Chinese growth, with services accounting for 60% of the economy, and half of all urban jobs.

Other data showed the jobless rate climbing above 6% in April to its highest since early 2020.

To help stabilize the situation, China’s government recently announced 33 new measures covering fiscal, financial, investment and industrial policies.

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