China’s factories creep back to life as Covid curbs ease

The contraction gripping China's manufacturing sector slowed in May, data showed Tuesday, as some factories gradually resumed work after the easing of strict Covid lockdowns.

The Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) -- a key gauge of manufacturing activity -- edged up to 49.6, officials said, from April's 47.4, which was the worst reading since early 2020.

China premier issues warning on COVID-hit economy

China's premier has sounded an unusually stark warning about the world's second-largest economy, saying it must return to normal as the country's zero-Covid strategy bites into growth.    

China is the last major economy welded to a policy of mass testing and rapid lockdowns to eliminate virus clusters, but the strict curbs have battered businesses.