China manufacturing PMI worsens in February

The official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) was at a score of 49.2 points, sliding lower than the 49.5 points in January, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed on Thursday.

China Source: Bloomberg

China’s manufacturing sector continued to contract for the third consecutive month in February, worsening from the previous month and lower than economists’ expectations, indicating deteriorating conditions in factory output due to a slowing Chinese economy.

The official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) was at a score of 49.2 points, sliding lower than the 49.5 points in January, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed on Thursday. Economists in a Reuters poll had expected PMI to come in at 49.5 points for the month.

A reading above 50 points indicates an expansion, while a reading below that shows that the sector is in a contractionary mode.

China has been broadly affected by the weakened trade due to the United States (US)-Sino trade conflict while it copes with slowing domestic demand.

Trade talks improving, trade deal deadline suspended

China’s growth for last year slipped to the lowest annual rate since the 1990s while its 2018 fourth quarter growth slowed to the weakest since the global financial crisis, as domestic and foreign demand slackened amid the country’s trade conflict with the US.

The country posted a surprise boom in exports for last month with a 9.1% gain, overshooting expectations from economists who were expecting a 3.3% decline for the month.

January’s exports were a reverse from December’s decline of 4.4%, and that offered some respite to investors and businesses keenly watching the trade talks between the US and China.

The US has been clearing hurdles in the negotiations to end the trade war between both countries. US president Donald Trump said on Sunday the US will delay the increase in the remaining US$200 billion worth of US tariffs on Chinese imports scheduled for March 1st. Markets had rallied with the positive developments.

The US trade representative's office on Wednesday updated to say that it is working towards abandoning the plans to hike the tariffs on the US$200 billion worth of Chinese goods, as long as both parties continue with their dialogue.

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