- Factory Activity in China Rises to a 4-month High
- Lufthansa Announced a 1 billion Euro Loss
- Japan’s Unemployment Rate Falls 0,3 Points
Factory Activity in China Rises to a 4-month High
According to a private survey released on Friday, China’s factory activity grew at its fastest rate in four months in April, owing to stronger demand. Still, concerns about rising raw materials and input costs clouded the outlook.
China’s Caixin / Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) rose to 51.9 points in April from 50.6 points, the lowest in 11 months. Economists had expected the manufacturing PMI to be 50.8 points.
Looking at sub-items, both production and new orders showed the fastest increase this year. Manufacturers have also increased their employment for the first time in the last five months.
While solid demand prompted manufacturing activity to accelerate, the survey indicated that concerns over rising raw material prices and increasing input costs blur the outlook.
“Total new orders rose for the eleventh month running in April, with manufacturers widely commenting on improved market conditions and greater customer demand. Manufacturers stayed confident about the economic recovery and keeping Covid-19 under control as the gauge for future output expectations was still higher than the long-term average. In the coming months, rising raw material prices and imported inflation are expected to limit policy choices and become a major obstacle to the sustained economic recovery, ” Caixin said in a statement.
The official manufacturing PMI, prepared by the China National Bureau of Statistics, dropped from 51.9 points in March to 51.1 points in April. Analysts had expected the official manufacturing PMI to be 51.7.
Official service PMI dropped to 54.9 points in April, from 56.3 points in March. The official composite PMI also fell from 55.3 points to 53.8 points over the same period.
Lufthansa Announced a 1 billion Euro Loss
German airline company Lufthansa announced that its net loss in the first quarter fell to 1.05 billion euros. The company announced that in the same period of 2020, it had a loss of 2.1 billion euros.
According to the statement made by the Lufthansa Group, revenues, which were 6.4 billion euros in the first quarter of last year, fell to 2.6 billion euros in the first quarter of 2021.
In its statement, Lufthansa stated that demand is expected to recover gradually in the second quarter, with the possibility of more vaccines to be launched and the EU to open its doors to US visitors who are vaccinated, with a significant market recovery in the second half of the year.
The company also reported that it expects to fly with about 40 percent of its pre-epidemic capacity this year, despite hopes for a recovery in aviation.
Lufthansa Chief Executive (CEO) Carsten Spohr, commenting on the issue, stated that the longer the crisis lasts, the more people will desire to travel, “We observe that Covid-19 restrictions are relaxed and bookings are increasing wherever travel is possible again. We expect demand to rise sharply from the summer. “
Lufthansa had come to the point of bankruptcy due to the Covid-19 outbreak. The airline received a €9-billion bailout from Germany, Austria, Belgium, and Switzerland last year as the pandemic ravaged the aviation industry across the world.
The company previously announced that it would reorganize and lay off more than 22,000 employees due to the shrinkage in the air transport sector caused by the Covid-19 outbreak.
The Lufthansa Group includes Brussels, Austrian and Swiss Airlines.
Japan’s Unemployment Rate Falls 0,3 Points
In its report published on Friday, the Japanese Bureau of Statistics announced that the unemployment rate in Japan fell to 2.6 percent in March. In the period in question, the market expectation was that the unemployment rate would be 2.9 percent.
The ratio of job openings to applications rose to 1.1, slightly above the estimates of 1.09 percent.
The report stated that the highest number of job losses are among those who are not regulars and those in customer-oriented businesses such as restaurants and hotels, primarily due to the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak.
According to data released by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, the number of people in work was 66.64 million people in March, representing a year-on-year drop of 690,000 people.
In turn, the number of people unemployed sat at 1.98 million, which represents an increase of 360,000 compared to March last year.
The number of jobs for every 100 job seekers in Japan was 110, one more than in the previous month.
However, the recovery could be short-lived, as Japan declared a new state of emergency in Tokyo, Osaka, and two other of the country’s most populous prefectures on Monday, which will last until May 11.
The Japanese government has advised residents in the affected areas to avoid unnecessary trips and has ordered the closure of shopping malls, theme parks, cinemas, and karaoke venues and asked bars and restaurants to close earlier and stop serving alcohol.