China’s manufacturing hits the rocks as slump knocks exports

 
Ben Southwood
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CHINA’S factories have been hit again this month, with new export business declining sharply, according to a purchasing managers’ index business survey released by HSBC and Markit yesterday.

The early “flash” figure dived to a nine-month low of 47.8 for the August survey, as China’s apparently inexorable boom comes up against problems.

The number is down from July’s figure of 49.3, which was close to the 50 level that indicates no change in activity.

Output, new export orders and employment are all contracting, prompting some analysts to suggest intervention.

“To achieve the stated policy goal of stabilising growth and the jobs market, Beijing must step up policy easing to lift infrastructure investment in the coming months,” said Hongbin Qu at HSBC.