On March 26, People’s Daily reported that, according to the numbers that the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) released, the combined January and February railway freight volume saw a year-over-year decline of 9.1 percent. February is the 14th consecutive month that suffered a decline. Railway freight volume is one of the well-known indicators on which Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has focused. In February, another favorite indicator of his, total electricity consumption, also saw a 6.3 percent year-over-year decline. In addition, HSBC reported China’s February manufacturing sector PMI to be 49.2, far less than the expected number, a PMI of 50.5. 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.
Source: People’s Daily, March 26, 2015