China Manufacturing Lingers in Contraction

Andamento del mercato - 01/12/2015

China's manufacturing activity plunged to its lowest level since August 2012 according to the latest overnight data. China's Manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index fell to 49.6 in November, a fourth consecutive month below the critical 50.0 expansionary-contractionary threshold, from 49.8 a month earlier, missing the median 49.9 forecast while nearing the three-year low value of 49.2. The Caixin Manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index, which includes smaller companies and exporters, picked up to 48.6 in November from 48.3 in October. Readings above 50.0 indicates an expansion in manufacturing activity, whilst readings below 50.0 stipulate a contraction. Chinese officials, trying to shift the focus away from manufacturing and the export economy woes, emphasized the gains in services data. The rising dollar continues to pull the Yuan higher, additionally denting export competitiveness. The latest non-manufacturing PMI rose to 53.6 in November from last month’s 53.1 mark. The rise is likely to have been driven by the online sales over the Singles Day shopping holiday on November 11th as China tries to reorient the economy away from exports and increasingly towards domestic consumption.

National Bureau of Statistics economists indicated that the today’s PMI values were weak mainly as a result of slack in demand from both exports and households. Chinese manufacturers have also reduced their purchases as the global economy faces more downward pressures. Values obtained last month showed that producer prices have fallen for nearly 4 years. The slump in manufacturing has alarmed policymakers as the world's second largest economy shows increasing signs of cooling further. Despite continuous efforts by the People’s Bank of China, having cut interest rates six times the last year, as well as additional assistance from accommodative fiscal policies, manufacturing has not yet shown upward momentum is still persistently facing contraction. An imminent weak fourth quarter will make it even more challenging for China to hit its economic growth target for the fiscal year of 7.00% after recording slowing growth of 6.90% for the third quarter. With the economy appearing to shrink, economists predict additional monetary policy measures in the pipeline alongside the expansion of fiscal stimulus in the coming year.


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