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May 3, 2017

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PMI grows at slowest in 7 months

CHINA’S manufacturing activity expanded at the slowest pace in seven months in April, renewing worries that the momentum of economic growth was weakening, a private survey showed yesterday.

The Caixin China General Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to 50.3 last month from 51.2 in March, according to the survey conducted by financial information service provider Markit and sponsored by Caixin Media Co.

Although the PMI stayed above 50 for 10 consecutive months, it was the lowest since September.

Slower increases in output and new orders weighed on the headline index reading in April, the report said.

Production growth softened for the second month running.

“The downward pressure on manufacturing gradually emerged in April, with all indicators weakening,” said Zhong Zhengsheng, director of macro-economic analysis at CEBM Group, a subsidiary of Caixin Insight Group.

“The Chinese economy may be starting to embrace a downward trend in the near term as prices of industrial products decline and active restocking comes to an end.”

Sub-indexes showed that cost pressures continued to ease from the peaks seen at the end of last year, and employment in the sector fell at the fastest pace since the start of the year.

The Caixin manufacturing PMI’s weakening echoed a six-month low for China’s official PMI released by the National Statistics Bureau over the weekend.

The official PMI, leaning toward larger and state-owned companies, fell below market expectations to 51.2 last month from March’s 51.8.

China’s economy grew 6.9 percent year on year in the first quarter, up from the growth of 6.8 percent in the previous quarter and 6.7 percent in 2016.

The official PMI samples 3,000 manufacturers in China. The Caixin PMI samples 500 manufacturers and is volatile due to its small sample size and less involvement of large firms.


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