China man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dex im­proves slightly

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

Chi­nese man­u­fac­tur­ing ac­tiv­ity im­proved slightly in Septem­ber while growth in ser­vice in­dus­tries slowed due to dis­rup­tions from a mas­sive mil­i­tary pa­rade, sur­veys showed Thurs­day.

An of­fi­cial man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dex based on a sur­vey of fac­tory pur­chas­ing man­agers edged up to 49.8 in Septem­ber from Au­gust’s 49.7, which was the low­est level since Au­gust 2012. In July, it was 50.0.

The in­dex, com­piled by the Chi­nese Fed­er­a­tion for Lo­gis­tics and Pur­chas­ing, is based on a 100-point scale on which num­bers above 50 in­di­cate ex­pan­sion.

Man­u­fac­tur­ing may have been weighed down by tem­po­rary fac­tory clo­sures and a two-day na­tional hol­i­day for a mil­i­tary pa­rade in Bei­jing in early Septem­ber. Man­u­fac­tur­ing, how­ever, also faces on­go­ing down­ward pres­sure from weak for­eign de­mand and of­fi­cial ef­forts to make con­sump­tion a big­ger part of the Chi­nese econ­omy.

China’s eco­nomic growth held steady at 7 per­cent in the latest quar­ter end­ing in June, which was the weak­est per­for­mance since the 2008 global cri­sis. Of­fi­cials hope to main­tain the growth rate for the rest of the year but many econ­o­mists doubt the tar­get will be met.

A sep­a­rate man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dex com­piled by fi­nan­cial mag­a­zine Caixin and Markit fell to 47.2 in Septem­ber from 47.3 in Au­gust. The fig­ure is bet­ter than the pre­lim­i­nary re­sult of 47.0 re­leased on Sept. 23.

Caixin’s sur­vey fo­cuses on smaller, pri­vate en­ter­prises while the fed- er­a­tion’s sur­vey is weighted to­ward larger, state-owned com­pa­nies in China’s man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­try, which em­ploys tens of mil­lions.

Caixin’s ser­vices in­dex fell to a 14-month low of 50.5 in Septem­ber from Au­gust’s 51.5.

In in­ter­views for the sur­vey, some com­pa­nies said they had lost busi­ness in early Septem­ber be­cause of the mas­sive mil­i­tary pa­rade to mark the 70th an­niver­sary of Ja­pan’s World War II sur­ren­der, which caused some busi­nesses and roads to close.

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