China’s top political advisory body holds standing committee session

BEIJING: The Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee, China’s top political advisory body, opened the fifth session of its standing committee on Friday in Beijing to prepare for the upcoming annual session of the CPPCC National Committee.

Wang Huning, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the CPPCC National Committee, attended Friday’s opening meeting.

A decision on the convening of the second session of the 14th CPPCC National Committee, set to start on March 4 in Beijing, was reviewed and adopted at the standing committee session.

The session heard explanations on the drafting of a work report of the Standing Committee of the CPPCC National Committee and a report on how proposals from political advisors have been handled since the first session of the 14th CPPCC National Committee, as well as other reports.

China’s manufacturing PMI slightly down in February on seasonal factors

China’s manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) came in at 49.1 in February, down from the previous month’s 49.2, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing showed on Friday.

Despite being below the 50-point threshold separating growth from contraction, the latest manufacturing PMI figures aligned with the historical characteristics typically attributed to the Chinese New Year holiday and other seasonal factors, Bruce Pang, chief economist and head of research at JLL Greater China, told CGTN.

PMI for China’s non-manufacturing sector came in at 51.4 in February, up 0.7 percentage point from the previous month and rising for three consecutive months.

Among industries driven by the holiday period, the business activity indexes of retail, rail and road transportation and catering grew above 53. While air transportation, monetary and financial services, and entertainment grew rapidly with activity indexes above 60 points.

In addition, the business activity index and the new order index of the construction industry – which reflects the demand for infrastructure investment – both rebounded to above 60, indicating an acceleration of growth.

The business activity index of the financial industry also rose to above 60 in February, with the banking industry in particular performing well. Judging from January’s social financing data, the recent financial industry’s support for the real economy continues to grow.

Meanwhile, Caixin’s manufacturing PMI for February came in at 50.9, edging up 0.1 point from the previous month.

The latest PMI reading was the best recorded since August 2023 and indicated that business conditions have now strengthened in the past four months, according to a Caixin press release.

It was the first time that the private PMI data has stayed in the expansion range for four straight months since the second half of 2021, indicating an overall economic recovery of the country, said Wang Zhe, senior economist at Caixin Insight Group.

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