China: PMI hits five-month low in February
March 1, 2013
In February, the Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) published by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP) fell to 50.1 points, down from 50.4 points in January. The print, which represented the lowest level recorded since September 2012, surprised analysts on the downside as they had expected the index to rise to 50.5 points. That said, the PMI remained above the 50-point threshold that separates expansion from contraction in the manufacturing sector for the fifth consecutive month.
The deterioration observed in February was broad-based, as all the sub-categories that compose the index declined over the previous month. The largest losses were seen in the supplier delivery times sub-index as well as in raw material inventories. Meanwhile, export orders dipped to their lowest level in six months, while the input prices category - which is a reliable leading indicator for consumer prices - slowed to a still robust 55.5 points.