China’s manufacturing PMI holds steady in October

Beijing, Nov 1 (IANS) China’s factory activity held steady in October as the country’s manufacturing sector saw improved but still weak demand, official data showed on Sunday.

China’s manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) came in at 49.8 in October, unchanged from September, Xinhua cited data released by the National Bureau of Statistics and the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing.

A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while that below 50 represents contraction.

The production sub-index posted at 52.2 in October, slightly down from 52.3 in September, but up from 51.7 in August, showing recovered growth in production.

The sub-index for new orders came at 50.3, still in expansion territory and up from 50.2 in September, indicating demand has improved.

The sub-index for employers stood at 47.8 in October, 0.1 percentage point lower than September, implying that the manufacturing sector provided fewer jobs than before.

The inventory sub-index for raw materials and the sub-index for suppliers’ delivery time dropped 0.3 percentage point and 0.2 percentage point respectively from September to 47.2 and 50.6, showing accelerating pace of raw material consumption.

Chen Zhongtao, analyst with the China Logistics Information Centre, said the overall index indicated that the stabilising trend of economic growth continues under government measures to inject liquidity and facilitate trade.

“The economy will be better off buoyed by more infrastructure investment and the foreseeable consumption that will occur along with the coming festivals,” said Chen.

The sub-index for large enterprises edged down 0.1 percentage points to 51, while sub-indexes for small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) remained under 50.

“Financing difficulties are still a major issue for SMEs,” said Chen.

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