China: Manufacturing sector slows to a standstill in November, PMI inches down to over two-year low
November 30, 2018
The manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) published by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP) edged down to an over two-year low of 50.0% in November from 50.2% in October, undershooting market expectations of a stable 50.2% reading. Consequently, the index now lies on the 50% threshold that separates expansion from contraction in the manufacturing sector, ending the over two-year expansion.
The deterioration in manufacturing conditions came on the back of largely broad-based losses in the month. New orders increased at the slowest rate in over two years, while output also rose at a weak pace. Moreover, new export orders, a proxy for future activity, remained in contractionary territory, hurt by the trade spat with the U.S. Job losses extended in November, albeit at a softer degree compared to October, meanwhile stocks of inventories continued to decline in November. The one bright spot of the report was supplier delivery times, which improved in the month. Input price inflation eased markedly in November to a one-and-a-half-year low.
Author: Lindsey Ice, Economist