Chinese manufacturing posts weakest reading in five month in private survey
Jan 02, 2018, 11:18
The manufacturing sector grew in December, setting a new record as business conditions improved at a record pace, a new survey showed. The December figure was the highest reading since August. "Higher new orders encouraged firms to increase employment sharply", said Gabriella Dickens, an economist at IHS Markit.
The pickup in December's manufacturing PMI came on the back of strong demand both at home and overseas.
Chinese steelmakers in 28 cities have been ordered to curb output between mid-November and mid-March, while a campaign to promote cleaner energy by converting coal to natural gas has also hampered manufacturing activity in some cities, leading to shortages and sending prices spiking.
Meanwhile, the large food and beverages sub-sector recorded its highest monthly result since April 2016, while the non-metallic minerals sub-sector, wood and paper products and machinery and equipment all recorded their lowest index results for 2017.
The rate of growth in new orders was the fastest since June 1998 as client demand improved, and new export orders also increased sharply.
The latest economic growth rate is a tick lower than the 6.9 percent growth in the previous three-month period.
The World Bank expects the government's policy tightening to slow annual economic growth to 6.4% next year and 6.3% in 2019. Nonetheless, business conditions strengthened in each of the past 49 months.
The Caixin manufacturing PMI for December compares with a decrease in the official PMI released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Sunday.
Turning to margins, the report from Investec found that input costs rose at their fastest pace in nine months, with higher raw material costs widely mentioned by panellists. This was consistent with the strongest improvement in the health of the sector since December 2012.
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