After months of slow growth, China’s economy is showing signs of picking up speed, “offering a glimmer of hope” for the U.S. and Europe, according to The Wall Street Journal (subscription).
What’s going on: “Factories in September reported their first expansion in activity since the spring, while railway and flight bookings point to a bumper week ahead for tourism as China takes a break to celebrate its weeklong National Day holiday.”
The big picture: While economists say it’s too early to call an economic turnaround—owing in large part to China’s continuing property-market slump—there are signals that things are improving.
- “An official gauge of activity in the nation’s manufacturing sector rose to 50.2 in September from 49.7 in August, China’s National Bureau of Statistics said Saturday, the first time since March that its purchasing managers index crept over the 50 mark that separates expansion from contraction.”
- Similar gauges for nonmanufacturing sectors and construction also expanded at a faster pace.
- With that said, the country’s manufacturing and overall economic growth are well below what was expected earlier in the year—particularly in the aftermath of last year’s “zero-COVID” policies. That has implications for both China and the global economy, according to NAM Chief Economist Chad Moutray.
What’s next: Many economists believe that to continue this growth, China needs more government stimulus. This could come in the form of household tax breaks, or cash or vouchers that consumers can spend directly.