China’s manufacturing activity edged up in July and export orders strengthened despite weak U.S. and European demand, a survey showed Friday, in fresh signs the world’s second-largest economy is gradually recovering from the coronavirus pandemic. The monthly purchasing managers’ index issued by the Chinese statistics bureau and an industry group rose to 51.1 from June’s 50.9 on a 100-point scale. The numbers above 50 show activity increasing. A measure of new orders improved to 51.4 from 51.7, according to the National Bureau of Statistics and the China Federation of Logistics & Purchasing. New export orders rose 5.8 points to 48.4. The results suggest “China’s economy continues to maintain a rebound trend,” the federation said in a statement. China, where the pandemic began in December, was the first economy to shut down to fight the virus and the first to try to revive business after the ruling Communist […]