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The negative impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the logistics and supply chain in most parts of China likely induced a sharp contraction in the country’s vast manufacturing sector this month, the latest Reuters poll of economists showed on Friday.

Key findings:

“China’s official manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) is forecast to fall sharply to 46 – a level not seen since January 2009 – from 50 a month earlier.

Official data showed that production levels at China’s small and medium-sized companies, a major employment sector, were just 32.8% by Wednesday, while a majority of migrant workers – including those in Hubei – are yet to resume work.

The private-sector Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) due on Monday – which analysts say focuses more on smaller export-driven firms – is also expected to show a similar contraction at 45.7, compared with an expansionary 51.1 in January.”