China’s manufacturing activity slows to nine-month low (Lead)

September 1st, 2012 - 3:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Sep 1 (IANS) China’s manufacturing activity further slid in August with the purchasing managers index (PMI) standing at 49.2 percent, the lowest pace in nine months.

The PMI reading in August retreated 0.9 percentage points from July, according to data released Saturday by the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP). It marked the first time the index fell below 50 percent since December, reported Xinhua.

“The PMI continued to dip in August to a point below 50 percent, which shows the manufacturing sector is contracting,” said Zhang Liqun, an analyst with the Development Research Center of the State Council.

A reading of 50 percent demarcates expansion from contraction.

The PMI has kept above the contraction level since December when the reading was 50.3 percent.

The CFLP report said the dropping PMI last month showed the world’s second-largest economy remains in a downward movement, which fell to 7.6 percent in the second quarter, the lowest level in more than three years.

The calculation of the PMI data covers 820 enterprises.

The output sub-index for August stood at 50.9 percent, down 0.9 percentage points from July, indicating that even though the production of manufacturers is still expanding, the activity sharply slowed.

The sub-index for new orders continued to trend below the boom-bust line for four consecutive months and hit 48.7 percent, down 0.3 percentage points from July, signifying that the demand for China’s manufactured goods is declining, according to the PMI report.

The sub-index for new export orders stayed unchanged at 46.6 percent, while that for import rose by 2 percentage points from July to 47 percent.

The PMI for nine sectors including oil processing, coking, and machinery manufacturing stood above 50 percent, while sectors such as chemical fiber and metal production contracted, according to the report.

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