Business / Macro

China's manufacturing still weakening, but at slower pace

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-04-23 15:47

BEIJING -- China's manufacturing activity continued to contract in April, but at a slower pace, according to HSBC's preliminary purchasing managers' index (PMI) released on Wednesday.

The HSBC/Markit China flash manufacturing PMI for April rose to 48.3 from a final reading of 48.0 in March, said data company Markit in a statement.

In March, the reading hit an eight-month low after declining for the third consecutive month, according to Markit.

A PMI above 50 percent indicates expansion, while one below 50 percent indicates contraction.

The PMI reading suggests that while conditions in the manufacturing sector continued to weaken, they are not deteriorating as rapidly as before, said Julian Evans-Pritchard, a China economist at Capital Economics, a London-based economic consultancy.

"It adds to growing evidence that, with infrastructure investment picking up, the recent slowdown in economic activity has begun to moderate," the economist said, adding that rebounds in output and new orders were responsible for much of the pick-up in the index.

China's economy slowed to a six-quarter low of 7.4 percent in the January-March period this year, down from 7.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Evans-Pritchard forecast China's economy to slow further this quarter but that the slowdown would moderate, helped in part by the government's move to support growth with spending on railways and social housing.

China's manufacturing still weakening, but at slower pace

China's manufacturing still weakening, but at slower pace

Feb manufacturing PMI drops to 50.2 HSBC China's manufacturing PMI at eight-month low

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