Low export orders hit Chinese growth

Tim Wallace
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FACTORY output fell again in March, survey data confirmed yesterday, increasing worries over the severity of China’s economic slowdown.

Export orders declined once more, Markit’s purchasing managers’ index showed, boosting expectations of a further monetary loosening by the authorities which should stimulate economic activity.

The index came in at 48.3 in March, down from 49.6 in February, and the steepest contraction since November.

Any figure below 50 indicates contraction in output.

Employment fell at its fastest pace in three years, indicating firms were trying to reduce spare capacity in the month, while products purchased for use in the manufacturing process also declined again.