BEIJING (AP) — An official survey shows China’s manufacturing activity fell to a five-month low in March after most of Shanghai and two smaller industrial cities were shut down to fight coronavirus outbreaks. The monthly purchasing managers’ index of the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing, an industry group, and the government’s statistics agency fell to 49.5 from February’s 50.2 on a 100-point scale. Numbers below 50 show activity contracting. Sub-indicators of new orders, new export orders, employment, production and business expectations all declined. Businesses in large areas of Shanghai have been ordered to close while millions of people are tested for the virus following outbreaks in China’s most populous city.
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