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China manufacturing continues to contract

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PMI decreases for fourth month in a row.

According to market data provider Markit, China’s manufacturing sector remains in contraction mode.

The final March Markit/HSBC Purchasing Managers Index came in at 48.1, indicating further contraction in the manufacturing sector of the world’s second largest economy. (Results below 50 indicate contraction.)

This reading is significantly below the official government PMI released recently, which showed a level of 50.4.

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Observers have tended to downplay China’s recent manufacturing struggles, citing broader trends such as the increasing optimism regarding the US economy and the global economy as a whole.  China’s central role in global trade, it is suggested, will allow it to benefit from these trends, with the result being a strengthening of manufacturing activity.

 

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