Beijing, China (4E) – China’s factory sector fell to its eight-month low in February according to a closely watched measure of China’s manufacturing activity released Saturday in Beijing.
The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) of the National Bureau of Statistics and China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing fell to 50.2, compared with a 50.5 reading in January and the 50.1 median analyst estimate by analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News.
A reading above 50 signals expansion, while below that indicates contraction. A preliminary reading of the manufacturing PMI by HSBC declined into contractionary territory at 48.3 in January.
The official PMI figure is based on responses to questionnaires by purchasing executives from 3,000 firms. Estimates by analysts in the Bloomberg survey ranged from 49.5 to 51.5.
The subindex for new export orders dropped to 48.2 from 49.3, a signal of slowing global demand for Chinese goods. China’s exports climbed 10.6 percent in January from a year earlier, though the data is highly questionable due to the effect of the holiday and doubts about the China’s trade data.