World Economics’ sales managers index (SMI) posted a score 51.2 in February, only slightly above the 50 mark that indicates no change in economic activity on the previous month.
The figure “continues to suggest ongoing, albeit modest growth in economic activity and an overall stabilisation in China’s business environment,” said World Economics’ chief exec Ed Jones.
While the figure suggests that the Chinese economy has stopped slowing, the steep drop in the SMI over the past year implies its GDP is stuck at a slower rate than official figures say.
“The SMI suggests a more rapid fall in the rate of economic growth than reported by official data over the last year,” World Economics said.
Government data say the economy grew by 6.8 per cent in the final three months of 2015. However, consultancy Lombard Street Research believes growth was only 3.3 per cent in that time using its own calculations.