Beijing -- While much of the world's output is grinding to a halt because of coronavirus, China is slowly emerging from its shutdowns by restarting production at factories and resuming some flights.
A recovery in the world's second-largest economy provides some relief for global manufacturers in the months ahead as the outbreak continues to wreak havoc in Europe, US, India and Latin America.
Employees are returning to work, production lines are starting to roll and even the original outbreak centre of Wuhan is ending its lockdown soon.
Car sales in China probably hit a bottom last month and are set to gradually rebound as the spread of the virus slows and consumers return to shopping, an auto industry group said this month.
'Real-time indicators show that China is re-starting its industrial complex,' analysts at Sanford C. Bernstein said in a note on Tuesday. 'Clearly the re-start is at an early stage, but things are gradually improving.'
At the nation's airline industry, whose slump last month decimated its massive aviation market to a size smaller than Portugal's, carriers are slowly restoring flights. Scheduled capacity rose 2.4% last week from the previous seven days to 9.2 million seats, while all the other top 10 markets in the world continued to decline, according to flight-data analytics firm OAG Aviation Worldwide.
Other signs include Chinese subway traffic increasing 21% last week, and online sales of large appliances are rebounding in both volumes and average prices on a week-to-week basis, according to Bernstein. Much of China was closed in late January as the Government extended the Lunar New Year holiday break to try and contain coronavirus.
This is an edited version of a report which first appeared in Automotive News Europe online. LIke UTECH-polyurethane.com and Urethanes Technology International, Automotive News Europe is published by Crain Communications.