Factory output keep sliding as China struggles to find growth

Tim Wallace
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MANUFACTURING output in China fell for a second consecutive month, survey data showed yesterday, raising fears the economy will not recover as sharply as some analysts had hoped.

Initial estimates of the manufacturing sectors’ purchasing managers’ index (PMI), compiled by Markit and HSBC, rose from 48.3 in March to 49.1 in April.

That is below the “no change” level of 50, and so represents another month of falling output, though at a slightly slower pace than in March.

The output index rose from 47.3 to 49.1, while new export orders and employment also continued to contract, but at a slower pace than in March.

“As April flash PMI ticked higher, this suggests that the earlier easing measures have started to work and hence should ease concerns of a sharp growth slowdown,” said HSBC economist Hongbin Qu.

“That said, the pace of both output and demand growth remains at a low level in an historical context and the job market is under pressure.

“This calls for additional easing measures in the coming months.

“We expect monetary and fiscal easing to speed up in the second quarter.”