China’s manufacturing activity contracts in April: official data | Manufacturing Asia
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China’s manufacturing activity contracts in April: official data

The official April PMI marked China's first contraction in its manufacturing sector since December.

China’s factory activity slumped once again in April on sluggish demand, snapping the three consecutive months of growth recorded last quarter according to official statistics released over the weekend.

The country’s official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) went down to 49.2 in April from 51.9 in March, slipping below the 50 neutral mark that separates contraction from expansion. Last month’s reading was the first contraction in four months or since the index stood at 47 in December.

Muted market demand and a high base in the first quarter mainly caused the index to slide in April, according to the bureau's senior statistician, Zhao Qinghe.

The latest reading also missed market expectations that April could have booked a 51.4 PMI, based on estimates by economists polled by Reuters.

Zhao said “market sentiment remains stable” as the sub-reading for business expectations remained on the expansion mode at 54.7 last month, down from 55.5 in March.

Breaking down the headline figure, new orders PMI slid to 48.8 last month from 53.6 in March, while the index for production of main products remained in expansion mode at 50.2 in April, albeit slower than 54.6 the month prior.

The reading for equipment manufacturing settled at 50.1 last month, while the PMIs for the consumer products industry and high-tech manufacturing both contracted to 49.8 and 49.3, respectively.

The non-manufacturing PMI also slowed to 56.4 in April from 58.2 previously.

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