Beijing, China (4E) – Manufacturing activity in China grew at a slower pace in December, an indication that the world’s second-biggest economy faced challenges at the end of 2013.
The HSBC Holdings Plc/Markit Economics Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) declined to 50.5 in December from 50.8 in November, according to a statement released Thursday. A separate barometer compiled by the China’s statistics bureau and logistics federation released Wednesday showed the PMI fell last month from November.
The HSBC reading was the weakest in three months and was unchanged from the preliminary reading reported on Dec. 16. The official PMI reading fell to a four-month low and was lower than the median estimate of 29 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News who called for 51.2.
The National Bureau of Statistics posted on its website that the PMI was at 51.0, lower than 51.4 in November. A reading above 50 suggests expansion in manufacturing, while a figure below indicates contraction.
The official PMI result marked the 15th consecutive month of growth but it also showed that growth slowed in December for the first time in six months.
A state media report last week stated that China’s gross domestic product (GDP) expanded 7.6 percent in 2013, higher than its official target for the year and slightly lower than the 7.7 percent pace in 2012.