China: PMI strengthens in March while inflationary pressures persist
April 1, 2011
The March Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) published by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFPL) posted the 25th consecutive monthly expansion and broke a three-month moderating trend. The PMI grew 1.2 percentage points over the previous month to 53.4%, but fell short of expectations of 54.0%. A reading above 50% indicates that the manufacturing sector is expanding, while a reading below 50% implies a contraction. The improvement was broad-based, with strong results seen in inventories (+4.9%), employment (+2.9%), production (+1.9%) and new export orders (+1.6%). In contrast, input prices and imports recorded losses. Some analysts consider that the PMI rebound was partially due to seasonal factors. That said, PMI results for March suggest that the Chinese economy is gently moderating, rather than slowing abruptly. In addition, lower input prices reflect the success of monetary tightening and other measures.