BEIJING (Reuters) – Activity in China’s services sector shrunk for the second straight month, an official survey showed on Saturday, as widespread COVID-19 lockdowns paralyze many cities.
The official non-manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to 41.9 in April, from 48.4 in March, the National Bureau of Statistics said.
A reading above the 50-point mark indicates expansion in activity while a reading below indicates contraction.
Dozens of major China cities are believed to be in full or partial lockdowns, including the commercial hub Shanghai. With hundreds of millions of people stuck in their homes, consumption is taking a heavy hit, prompting more analysts to cut growth forecasts for the world’s second-largest economy.
China’s official composite PMI, which includes both manufacturing and services activity, stood at 42.7, compared with 48.8 in March.
(Reporting by Stella Qiu, Min Zhang and Ryan Woo. Editing by Gerry Doyle)