China: Official PMI Slows to Near Neutral

March 2nd, 2014
in econ_news, syndication

Econintersect:  The official government PMI (Purchasing Managers' Index) for manufacturing came in lower than expected for February.  The index was 50.2, down from 50.5 for January and from 51.0 in December and from 51.4, the recent high in November.  The reading was the lowest in the most recent eight months and just barely above 50, the dividing line between expansion and contraction.  Last week the preliminary ("flash") reading for the HSBC PMI was released, and it was even lower at 48.3.  The final HSBC number will be released tomorrow (Monday, 03 March 2014).


Follow up:

The official PMI number and the one from HSBC often do not agree.  They survey two different sets of companies.  The official survey is predominantly large companies (many state owned) and the HSBC survey covers small and medium companies, mostly private sector.

Both surveys may have suffered from the Chinese New Year which was celebrated during the survey period.  If that was a significant factor then these indices should bounce back in March.



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