Well-known Chinese news site NetEase recently reported that the newly released HSBC March Chinese Manufacturing PMI (Purchasing Managers Index) number showed an eight-month low, at 48.0. The Manufacturing Output sub-index reached 47.2, which is the lowest it has been in 28 months. The sub-indexes for New Orders, Import Prices, and Export Prices fell to 46.5, 46.8 and 40.7, respectively. Qu Hongbin, the HSBC Chief Economist for the China Region, commented that the Chinese manufacturing PMI confirmed a very weak domestic demand level. He expected first quarter GDP growth to be slower than the annual goal, set at 7.5 percent. HSBC expressed the belief that the Chinese authorities will start economic policy adjustments sooner rather than later. PMI is an indicator of financial activity reflecting the purchasing managers’ acquisition of goods and services. A PMI number below 50 typically reflects a decline.
Source: Netease, April 1, 2014