China: Manufacturing PMI picks up steam in March
April 1, 2017
The manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose from February’s 51.6% to 51.8% in March, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP), which publish the index. The reading was above the 51.6% that market analysts had expected and represented the highest print since April 2012. As a result, the index rests comfortably above the 50% threshold that separates expansion from contraction in the manufacturing sector.
March’s reading reflected a broad-based improvement as all but two of the sub-components of the index gained ground compared to February’s result. Employment prospects hit a nearly five-year high, while production and new orders expanded at the fastest pace since July 2014. Despite declining to a six-year low, input prices—a reliable leading indicator for producer prices—remained at high levels, suggesting that overall inflationary pressures are still strong. New exports jumped to a nearly five-year high, signaling that global demand is picking up.