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China manufacturing expanded in April: independent index

China manufacturing expanded in April: independent index

Manufacturing in China expanded in April - the first time in nine months - a leading independent index published yesterday said, confirming official data indicating that the key sector is stabilizing.
The CLSA China Purchasing Managers Index, or PMI, a closely watched indicator in the world's third-largest economy, rose sharply to 50.1 in April from 44.8 the previous month.
A number above 50 means manufacturing expanded.
The independent reading supported the trend seen in the official PMI that saw the sector rise to 53.5 in April, up from 52.4 in March, when the indicator was released Friday by the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing.
Manufacturing accounts for more than 40 percent of the economy in China, which has been hit hard by evaporating demand for its products in key export markets like the United States and Europe.
"China's government has been extremely successful in stimulating investment and, combined with a sharp improvement in export orders, this has pushed the PMI back into positive territory in April," CLSA head of economic research Eric Fishwick said.
The official index tends to be more upbeat because it attaches greater weight to state-owned enterprises, which usually follow government directions and benefit first from stimulus policies, Sherman Chan, of Moody's Economy.com, wrote in a research note.
The official data indicated new orders are rising driven by domestic demand, while the CLSA index indicated export orders continue to contract, but the rate was slowing, Chan said.
Unemployment is also falling as activity increases, and that would help get migrant workers back into jobs, she said.
"This has been one of the key concerns to policymakers because the risk of social unrest is high when the low-wealth group loses their livelihood," Chan said.


Updated : 2021-02-25 21:19 GMT+08:00