Xinhua recently reported, based on data that the Chinese National Bureau of Statistics released, that China’s February manufacturing PMI index saw a free fall to 35.7 percent, down by 14.3 percentage points from January. Apparently the coronavirus pandemic was a direct cause of the sharp decline. Among the sub-indexes of the manufacturing PMI, month-over-month, new orders fell 22.1 percent, the raw material inventory fell 13.2 percent, employment fell 15.7 percent, and supplier delivery time fell 17.8 percent. All aspects of manufacturing in China suffered major slow-downs in February. In the meantime, non-manufacturing PMI declined 24.5 percentage points to 29.6 percent, month-over-month. However, financial services and capital market activities are still expanding. For the sectors of broadcasting, satellite services, and internet services, the market saw minor declines – significantly above average. The construction sector had the most significant decline with a month-over-month drop of 33.1 percentage points, to 26.6 percent. China’s overall PMI for February was 28.9 percent, which was 24.1 percent below January. PMI is an indicator of financial activity reflecting purchasing managers’ acquisition of goods and services. A PMI number below 50 typically reflects a decline.
Source: Xinhua, February 29, 2020