China: PMI drops in December
January 1, 2011
The December Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) published by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFPL) fell by 1.3 percentage points over November to 53.9%. The figure surprised private sector analysts on the downside, who saw the index remaining broadly flat. Nonetheless, the reading remained above the 50% threshold for the ninth month in a row. A reading above 50% indicates that the manufacturing sector is expanding, while a reading below 50% implies a contraction. The deterioration was primarily driven by the new orders category, which experienced the largest drop over the previous month. In addition, the production category as well as the employment index fell over November. In contrast, manufacturing of raw materials rebounded to positive territory and the suppliers delivery times index improved somewhat, while still remaining the only category below the 50% threshold. Given the moderation seen in the PMI and, in particular, in the production category, industrial production is likely to have decelerated in December.