China March factory activity expands for first time in four months

02, Apr. 2019

TOKYO, NNA – Factory activity in China expanded for the first time in four months in March, supported by government stimulus measures, but exports remained sluggish amid the slowdown in the global economy.

The National Bureau of Statistic released the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for March on Sunday.

Key points:

―― The official PMI stood at 50.5 in March, up from a three-year low of 49.2 in February. The index rose above 50 for the first time in four months. The 50-mark separates growth from contraction on a monthly basis.

―― Non-manufacturing PMI also rose to 54.8 in March from 54.3 in February.

―― The composite PMI, which is the weighted average of the manufacturing and service indexes, increased by 1.6 points to 54.0.

Takeaway:

―― The relatively low readings of the new export order index at 47.1 and the import index at 48.7 suggest the slower global growth caused by the U.S. trade dispute continued to weigh on China.