The Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (BMI), which is calculated by the National Bureau of Statistics and the China Procurement and Logistics Association (CFLP), fell 50.6 points in February from 51.3 in January. Analysts had expected a slight weak index, 51.1, for the month of February. The manufacturing BMI was above the 50-point threshold separating growth and declines for the twelfth consecutive month in February.
Manufacturing BMI focuses on data for large corporations and state-owned enterprises. Among the BMI sub-indices, new export orders in particular fell in February, from 50.2 in January to below the 50-point level at 48.8, after rising in previous months, mainly due to external demand. The sub-manufacturing index for small businesses decreased 48.3 from 49.4 in January.
The employment sub-index decreased from 48.4 to 48.1 in February, indicating that companies laid off more employees at a higher rate than in January.
Growth in the non-manufacturing sector, particularly in services and construction, also slowed in February. The sector PMI, which provides more than half of the economy, fell 51.4 from 52.4 in January, but remained unbroken above the 50-point threshold for the 12th consecutive month.
The composite PMI, which includes data on manufacturing and services, fell 51.6 points from 52.8 in January. China’s GDP grew by 2.3 percent last year. According to the latest IMF projections released in late January, the Asian nation’s economic performance will grow by 8.1 percent this year.
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