Chinese manufacturing output down in February

25 February 2013

Confidence in the Chinese economy has been dented by the emergence of less upbeat data regarding the country's manufacturing sector.

HSBC's latest purchasing managers index (PMI) for this key industrial arena in the world's second-largest economy - which was released this morning (25 February) - has fallen to its lowest point since October 2012 in February.

In a gauge where any score above 50 is indicative of growth, the measure has slipped to a level of 50.4 this month.

While this is still above the threshold for expansion, it represents a marked decline on the figure of 52.3 recorded in January and HSBC attributed this downward movement to factors such as slower rates of growth in output and new work orders.

Meanwhile, the number of orders received from overseas has moved back into negative territory.

However, Qu Hongbin, chief economist for China and co-head of Asian economic research at HSBC, insisted: "The Chinese economy is still on track for a gradual recovery … the underlying strength of Chinese growth recovery remains intact."

By Asim Shah

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