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Chinese Manufacturing PMI Numbers Confirmed a Decline

The Chinese National Bureau of Statistics official website recently published its December PMI numbers for China’s manufacturing industry. The overall PMI index landed at 49.4 percent. The PMI New Orders sub-index was 49.7 percent. The Raw Material Inventory sub-index was 47.1 percent; and Employment sub-index was 48 percent. The data indicates the first decline in the manufacturing business in 29 months.

Well-known Chinese financial company Caixin, which conducts its own independent and globally recognized Chinese PMI data collection, also published its December numbers. The overall Chinese manufacturing PMI index reached 49.7, which was the first time it had fallen below 50 since Caixin’s June 2017 report. The trending is in line with the National Bureau of Statistics. Caixin’s New Orders sub-index showed the first decline since July 2016 and New Export Orders showed a nine-month-in-a-row decline. The Employment sub-index has been showing a decline for 62 months.

In the meantime, in December, the Guangdong Provincial Department of Industry and Information Technology suddenly stopped publishing its manufacturing PMI numbers for the province. The event sent a shockwave across the media, since Guangdong is one of China’s largest manufacturing provinces. The government later explained that the move was per the requirements of the National Bureau of Statistics.

PMI (Purchasing Managers Index) is an indicator of financial activity reflecting purchasing managers’ acquisition of goods and services. A PMI number below 50 typically reflects a decline.

1. Chinese National Bureau of Statistics official website, December 31, 2018
2. Caixin, January 2, 2019
3. Phoenix New Media, December 17, 2018