Manufacturing gauge triggers fresh concerns on 2014 growth
A Chinese manufacturing gauge fell more than analysts estimated in August as a credit slowdown and property slump add to risks the world’s second-largest economy will miss its growth target this year.
The preliminary Purchasing Managers Index from HSBC Holdings PlcandMarkit Ltdwasat 50.3, trailing all 22 estimates in a survey of economists that had a median projection of 51.5. The measure dropped from July’s final reading of 51.7 and, if confirmed on Sept 1, will be a three-month low. Numbers above 50 indicate expansion.
After a slump in credit expansion and slowing growth in investment spending in July, Thursday’s report adds to pressure on the government to do more to support expansion that
HSBC PMI READINGS economists project will this year be the weakest since 1990.
“Pressure for more policy easing will mount further, and we continue to expect more targeted stimulus measures to be rolled out,” Dariusz Kowalczyk, a senior economist at Credit Agricole CIB in Hong Kong, said in a note. The bank is sticking to its 2014 forecast of 7.4 percent economic growth “but this will only be possible if Beijing acts quickly to prop up aggregate demand”, he said.
Thursday’s report, known as the flash PMI, is typically based on 85 percent to 90 percent of responses to surveys sent to purchasing managers at more than 420 companies. Estimates of the number from 22 analysts ranged from 50.6 to 52.0.
A measure of output in the survey fell to a three-month low of 51.3 in August, from 52.8 in July. Readings of new orders and export orders increased at a slower pace in August and the decline in employment deepened.
“Today’s data suggest that the economic recovery is still continuing, but its momentum has slowed again,” Qu Hongbin, HSBC’s chief China economist in Hong Kong, said in the PMI statement. “We think more policy support is needed to help consolidate the recovery. Both monetary and fiscal policy should remain accommodative until there is a more sustained rebound in economic activity.”
Recoveries in the United States and Europe helped accelerate Chinese export growth to 14.5 percent in July from a year earlier, supporting Premier Li Keqiang’s 7.5 percent expansion target for this year. US retail sales stalled in July, suggesting demand may not be strong enough to fuel an export-led acceleration.
China’s gross domestic product will increase 7.4 percent this year, according to a Bloomberg survey carried out from Aug 15 to Aug 20.
A worker checks aluminum products at a factory in Zouping, Shandong province. The flash Purchasing Managers Index from HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Ltd for August was 50.3.