AFP: The HSBC China Manufacturing PMI, or purchasing managers’ index, slipped to 54.4 in December from 55.3 in November as output and new business increased at the slowest pace in three months.
A reading above 50 indicates the sector is expanding, while a reading below indicates contraction.The data came as the yuan reached the strongest level against the dollar since Beijing vowed in June to loosen exchange rate controls, which a central bank official said Thursday helps cut import costs and curb inflation.
The People’s Bank of China set the yuan central parity rate — the middle of the currency’s allowed trading band — at 6.6229 to the dollar, meaning it has appreciated about three percent against the greenback since June 19.
The gradual appreciation in the yuan has had only a small impact on employment and growth, Sheng Songcheng, director of the PBOC’s Statistics and Analysis Department, wrote in an article in the Financial News. Read more…..