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Sunday, April 01, 2012 10:31 PM

China Manufacturing PMI™ Decreases at Second-Fastest Rate in Three Years

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The slowdown in China continues at an accelerating rate according to the HSBC China Manufacturing PMI™.

March data showed manufacturing production falling for the fourth time in the past five months. Factory output was reduced largely in response to lacklustre demand from domestic and external markets. New orders fell at the fastest rate in 2012 so far, while new export business decreased for a second month in succession. Manufacturers reduced their employee numbers as a result, while purchasing activity was also down from one month earlier. There was little change on the price front, with factory gate charges falling modestly, and the rate of input cost inflation remaining somewhat subdued.

Companies reported a renewed decline in manufacturing output during March, with the rate of contraction the steepest since November and the second-sharpest in three years. Behind the overall decrease in factory output was a further decline in total new business. Underlying demand weakness was broad-based across domestic and external markets, with new export business also falling moderately from one month earlier. Rates of decline in both cases were among the sharpest seen since the 08/09 financial crisis.

Key points

  • Reduced factory output reflects falling new business from home and abroad
  • Manufacturing employment down at sharpest rate in three years
  • Input price inflation ticks higher, but remains modest overall
Mike "Mish" Shedlock
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