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Asian factories recover further from COVID-19 crisis in November as China booms

Asian factories recovered further in November from the COVID-19 crisis, surveys showed on Tuesday, thanks to a boom in economic powerhouse China which has enabled the region to withstand the pandemic better than many of its peers. China’s factory activity accelerated at the fastest pace in a decade in November, a private sector survey showed, a sign the world’s second-largest economy is rebounding to pre-pandemic levels.

But a global resurgence in coronavirus infections has made the outlook highly uncertain, keeping governments and central banks under pressure to maintain or ramp up their massive stimulus programmes, analysts say. PMI surveys for other regions due later on Tuesday are expected to show a continued recovery in factory activity in the euro zone, while U.S. manufacturing activity is seen expanding but at a slower pace.

China’s Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 54.9 from October’s 53.6, marking the highest level since November 2010. The gauge stayed well above the 50-level that separates growth from contraction for the seventh consecutive month. It was also in line with an official survey that showed activity at Chinese factories expanded at the fastest pace in more than three years in November.

A steady recovery in global demand also helped Japan’s factory activity move a notch closer to stabilisation in November, and that of South Korea to accelerate at the fastest pace in nearly a decade. Asia’s performance comes as many countries in the region have had greater success in containing the virus than their U.S. and European peers. China’s economy is seen increasing 1.9% this year, while the U.S. economy is expected to contract 4.3% and euro zone economies by 8.3%, according to the International Monetary Fund’s estimate in October.

Asian factories recover further from COVID-19 crisis in November as China booms, Reuters, Dec 1

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