Chinese Manufacturing Index Hits 4-Month High

Chinese manufacturing activity crept to a four-month high this month, according to a preliminary report from the HSBC, issued Wednesday. Despite the growth, however, manufacturing in the world’s second-largest economy is sill in a state of contraction, as the Purchasing Managers Index showed a reading of 49.7, and readings above 50 are indicative of growth. It was still an improvement though as the prior month’s reading was just 48.8.

Also contained in the HSBC report, China’s manufacturing output rose to 50.1 this month from January’s reading of 47.6. This reading was also the highest in four months. But the bottom line of the report is that Chinese manufacturing is still slowing, contrary to statements made by Chinese officials last month. Analysts said the data released on Wednesday that conditions in China’s manufacturing have stabilized, but are still relatively subdued, mostly due to a decline in foreign demand.