China: PMI jumps back to expansionary territory in March
April 1, 2015
The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose slightly from 49.9% in February to 50.1% in March, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP), which publish the index. As a result, the PMI now rests slightly above the 50%-threshold that separates contraction from expansion in the manufacturing sector. The print overshot the 49.7% that market analysts had expected.
March’s reading reflected improvements in three of the five subcategories that make up the index. Both manufacturing output and employment recorded a sizeable increase in March, while gains in the supplier delivery times category were milder. Conversely, new orders and inventories deteriorated over the previous month. Although input prices—a reliable leading indicator for consumer prices—hit a 5-month high, the variable remains firmly entrenched below the 50%-threshold, thereby signaling strong disinflationary pressures.