China PMI Rebounds Unexpectedly

Image: Easyturn/iStock

Factory activity in China unexpectedly expanded for the first time in four months in March, an official survey showed on Sunday.

The official Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 50.5 in March from February’s three-year low of 49.2.

Echoing the official number, the Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), a private business survey whose results was released on Monday, grew the fastest in eight months in March.

Rising to 50.8 from 49.9 in February, the Caixin PMI is now at its highest since July 2018.

However, growth in new domestic and exports orders was marginal, suggesting the Chinese economy might require more policy support before it could stabilize.

Caixin’s findings also showed factories hired works in March for the first time in more than four years while new orders rose for the second month and output grew for the second straight month.

In addition, new export orders grew after shrinking in the previous month. Though the growth rate was fractional, Caixin said the broad trend appeared to have steadied in the first quarter.