China: PMI moderates in April
May 1, 2013
In April, the Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) published by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP) fell to 50.6 points. The figure was down from 50.9 points in March, which had represented the highest level recorded since April 2012. In addition, the print came in broadly in line with market expectations, which saw the index falling to 50.7 points. Although the PMI remained above the 50-point threshold that separates expansion from contraction in the manufacturing sector for the sixth consecutive month, it now sits 2.7 points below the level recorded in the same month last year.
The deterioration observed in April was broad-based, as all but one of the sub-categories that compose the index lost some ground over the previous month. The largest losses were seen in the production sub-index as well as in employment. On the other hand, raw material inventories remained at the previous month's level. Meanwhile, export orders dipped into contraction territory, while the input prices category - which is a reliable leading indicator for consumer prices - fell to its lowest level since December 2008.