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Data: Caixin, IHS Markit; Chart: Axios Visuals

Purchasing managers' indexes for the manufacturing sector are moving in opposite directions in the U.S. and China.

Why it matters: China's economy was the first in the world to bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic and its manufacturing sector surged.

  • However, since November, manufacturing has tapered off as demand from Europe and North America slowed, showing the fragility of the economic recovery even as COVID-19 cases remain low.

Details: China's Caixin/Markit manufacturing PMI fell to 50.9 last month, the lowest level since last May.

  • An official government survey on Monday showed China’s economic recovery continued in February, but at a slower-than-expected pace, with all major sectors showing their lowest growth rates since last spring.

Conversely, manufacturing PMI, which tracks sentiment among major companies within the sector, rose again in the U.S. for the eighth consecutive month with rates of expansion in output and new orders up notably in February.

  • A separate survey from the Institute for Supply Management showed the highest reading since February 2018, following the passage of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act.

Between the lines: Demand is booming, U.S. businesses say, but they also noted a significant increase in prices.

  • ISM's prices paid index recorded an 86 last month, the highest reading since 2008.
  • According to Bespoke Research Group, the consumer price index reading when this figure is above 85 has been at an average of 3.2% since 1990.

The last word: “Prices are going up, and lead times are growing longer by the day. While business and backlog remain strong, the supply chain is going to be stretched very [thin] to keep up,” a U.S.-based respondent to ISM's survey said.

Go deeper

The manufacturing boom's bottleneck

llustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The manufacturing sector has bounced back from its pandemic knockout. But as the economy reopens, factories can't keep up with orders.

Why it matters: The materials manufacturers need are hard to find and prices for them are soaring.

Ina Fried, author of Login
17 mins ago - Technology
Column / Signal Boost

Huawei sanctions snarled chip supply chains

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The largely successful U.S. effort to hobble China's Huawei has benefitted a host of other tech companies — from smartphone makers such as Apple and Xiaomi to chipmakers like Qualcomm to network vendors including Nokia and Ericsson.

Yes, but: The massive disruption to the industry furthered an industry wide mismatch between supply and demand, exacerbating the global chip shortage.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
36 mins ago - Health

Overturning Roe could strain abortion access even in blue states

The Supreme Court is reflected in a woman's sunglasses during a march Oct. 2. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

If the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, abortions could be harder to access even in states where they remain legal, because those clinics could be flooded with patients from states that have cracked down.

The big picture: This has happened before, and clinics fear the crush of demand would be a major problem in the immediate wake of a decision that would allow states to ban abortion.