China swings back to growth after reopening

STORY: China’s economy got a boost from the Lunar New Year holidays.

With lockdowns lifted, people were out in force to shop and celebrate.

And that showed up in data out Tuesday (January 31).

Closely watched Purchasing Managers’ Indexes climbed back above the 50-point level in January - that’s the level that separates growth and contraction.

The index covering services surged from 41.6 last month, to 54.4 now.

Manufacturing climbed more modestly, hitting 50.1.

The rebound comes as health-crisis fears ease.

That’s allowed retailers to reopen, boosting spending during the country’s New Year festivities.

Figures out earlier had shown consumption over the period more than 12% up on a year before.

Spending on holiday trips during the festive season surged by about three-quarters.

Still, worries linger.

As foreign economies weakened, so did demand for China’s exports - down close to ten percent on the year.

Economists say gauges of employment, inventories and other factors all got worse, too.

That leaves Beijing to pin its hopes on domestic spending.

Over the weekend, the cabinet said it would promote a recovery in consumption as the main driver of the economy.