Preliminary China Manufacturing PMI index was 50.4 in February vs. 52.3 in January, a 4-month low and below consensus at 52.2. Despite the moderation of the PMI, the index stayed above the neutral 50 threshold for the fourth consecutive month, pointing to China’s manufacturing sector still expanding, although at a slower pace than last month.
Also, the recently released China’s January trade data showed strong increase and a broad measure of credit growth picked-up, boosting expectations that economic activity in the world’s second-biggest economy is gaining pace. That said, today’s weaker-than-expected preliminary PMI reading might damp market sentiment as it casts doubt over the strength of China’s economic rebound. The final February PMI reading will be reported on March 1.
China, Flash Manufacturing PMI (Feb): 50.4
Previous (Jan): 52.3