Industrial output in Shanghai falls for first time in 2 years

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FILE PHOTO: Employees wearing face masks work on a car seat assembly line at Yanfeng Adient factory in Shanghai

BEIJING (Reuters) -Industrial output in Shanghai, China’s most populous city, slumped in March, the first monthly decline in two years, after stringent lockdown measures halted production in some factories, a city official said on Friday.

Industrial production dropped by 7.5% year-on-year, Wu Jincheng, chairman of Shanghai’s economic planning agency, said at a press conference. Monthly output last fell in March 2020.

“The latest virus outbreak has greatly impacted the city’s industrial activities, leading to March’s output being down 7.5% year-on-year,” Wu said.

The city’s industrial output growth in the first quarter slowed to 4.8% on a year earlier, Wu said.

The reading excludes the smallest factories and there were no published comparative data for the fourth quarter of 2021.

Shanghai, a advanced manufacturing hub, houses factories including those of Tesla, top Chinese chipmaker Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp and the mainland China headquarters of many international companies.

In 2021, value-added output of the city’s industrial sector hit 1 trillion yuan ($154.61 billion) for the first time and was the highest among all cities nationwide.

As Shanghai battled the latest COVID resurgence amid a lockdown, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said on April 15 it had identified 666 companies in Shanghai it would help to resume production.

The Shanghai Office of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission said on Thursday it would step up financial support to help with the resumption of production in the city of 25 million people.

($1 = 6.4679 yuan)

(Reporting by Ellen Zhang and Ryan Woo; Editing by Shri Navaratnam and Bradley Perrett)

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