China: PMI hits 18-month low in December
January 1, 2015
The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell from 50.3% in November to 50.1% in December, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP), which publish the index. December’s print represented the lowest reading in 18 months and slightly overshot the 50.0% that market analysts had expected. That said, the PMI remains above the 50%-threshold that separates expansion from contraction in the manufacturing sector, where it has idled since September 2012.
December’s reading reflected deteriorations in all of the main subcategories. Both manufacturing output and new orders reached their lowest levels since June 2013, while the supplier delivery times category dipped below the 50%-threshold. New exports orders improved marginally in December, albeit the indicator remained in negative territory. Meanwhile input prices—a reliable leading indicator for consumer prices—hit a 20-month low, suggesting strong disinflationary forces.