Conditions in China’s manufacturing sector dropped to a two-month low in November, according to the HSBC Flash China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI). The index fell to 50.4, from 50.9 in October.
Although output and new orders increased, new export orders and stocks of purchases both fell. Employment also decreased, in a change of direction. Input prices increased, albeit at a slower rate. Despite the drop, the figure was still the second-highest reading in seven months, remaining above the crucial 50 mark.
An index figure above 50 signals expansion, while below 50 signals contraction.
“China’s growth momentum softened a little in November, as the HSBC Flash China Manufacturing PMI moderated due to the weak new export orders and slowing pace of restocking activities,” says Qu Hongbin, Chief Economist for Greater China and Co-Head of Asian Economic Research, HSBC.
He added that the “muted inflationary pressures should enable Beijing to keep policy relatively accommodative to support growth.”
The Flash PMI is the earliest available indicator of operating conditions in China. It is published around a week before the final PMI data is released and is based on around 85 per cent to 90 per cent of total PMI survey responses.
The Flash China Manufacturing Output Index reached an eight-month high of 51.3, up from 51.1 in October.
The final PMI for November is due for release on 2 December.