China's manufacturing activity improved in May thanks to eased COVID lockdowns and a series of government stimulus policies.
The official manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose to 49.6 in May from 47.4 a month earlier, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed.
The non-manufacturing PMI, which mainly measures the business sentiment in the services and construction sectors, jumped to 47.8 in May from the previous month's 41.9.
China's leadership has switched the focus on steady economic growth from the epidemic control in May. At a national conference on May 25, Premier Li Keqiang underscored immediate actions to "get the economy back on track".
Premier Li underlined the urgency of the 33 measures to stabilize the economy proposed at an earlier State Council executive meeting, ordering government departments to introduce practical implementation measures by the end of May, Xinhua News Agency reported.
China has maintained the strict zero-COVID policy since March. Some major cities including Shanghai were heavily locked to reduce the spread, leading to a deadlock in economic and industrial activities for a while.
Shanghai has gradually eased the restrictions on economic activity since the epidemic eased in the second half of the month. Recently, the financial hub said it will further relax the curbs on public transport and residential compounds.
A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below 50 reflects contraction.
(Writing by Alex Guo Editing by Tammy Yang)
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