China’s Stumbling Manufacturing, Property Segments Show Long Road to Recovery

China’s main economic pillars wobbled in July with weakness in manufacturing and the all-important property sector, showing the pressure on a country that remains a drag on the struggling worldwide economy.

Chinese business activity unexpectedly contracted in July, as Beijing’s stringent Covid-19 restrictions and weak demand undercut hopes for a more robust economic revival.

The official manufacturing buying managers index pulled back to 49.0 in July from 50.2 in June, China’s National Bureau of Statistics said Sunday. The result left the index below the 50 level that separates expansion from contraction and short of the median forecast of 50.3 amongst economists polled by The Wall Street Journal.

Meanwhile, a nascent two-month recovery in China’s home sales ended in July as a widespread mortgage revolt over concerns that ailing property developers wouldn’t be able to deliver still-unfinished apartments weighed on request.

Sales at the country’s top 100 property developers fell a sharp 39.7% in July from the same period last year to the equivalent of $77.6 billion, or 523.14 billion yuan, according to data released Sunday by China Real Estate Information Corp., a Shanghai-based real-estate data provider.

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