Published On: Tue, Mar 24th, 2015

China HSBC Factory Gauge Slumps to 11-Month Low as Economy Slows

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A Chinese manufacturing gauge fell to an 11-month low in March, suggesting more stimulus is needed to bolster factories in the world’s second-largest economy.

The preliminary Purchasing Managers’ Index from HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics was at 49.2, missing the median estimate of 50.5 in a Bloomberg survey and down from February’s 50.7. Numbers below 50 indicate contraction.

The first reading of momentum in March may add to concerns of a deeper downturn after industrial output, investment and retail sales growth missed analysts’ estimates in January and February. Premier Li Keqiang this month pledged to take action if needed to shore up growth.

The report signaled “a slight deterioration in the health of China’s manufacturing sector,” Annabel Fiddes, economist at Markit, wrote in a statement. “A renewed fall in total new business contributed to a weaker expansion of output, while companies continued to trim their workforce numbers.”

Readings of employment and new orders both worsened. The report, known as the Flash PMI, is based on 85 percent to 90 percent of responses to surveys sent to more than 420 manufacturers.

Source : Bloomberg

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