The Two Most Important Chinese Economic Reports Are Just Hours Away...

china factory yarn

Photo: China Photos/Getty Images

Tonight we get the official and HSBC January PMI numbers for China that will offer insight into how the economy is doing.The official number is out at 8 p.m. ET, and analysts polled by Bloomberg are looking for manufacturing PMI to rise to 51 in January, from 50.6 the previous month.

The HSBC reading follows at 8:45 p.m. ET, with analysts polled by Bloomberg looking for a rise to 52, from 51.5 the previous month. 

Bank of America’s Ting Lu is looking for the official manufacturing PMI number to rise to 51. He says that industrial earnings have been pointing to an “impressive recovery” and this should help boost business confidence. This should reflect in January’s PMI print.

Of course some like Diana Choyleva at Lombard Street Research argue that the optimism over December corporate profits isn’t justified. 

“The prevailing analysis in the market has focused on the annual change in the monthly data on industrial profits, stating that profits climbed for a fourth straight month in December. But the profits data is highly cyclical, making monthly moves useless in assessing the underlying trend. Seasonally adjusted quarterly data is a much better guide to the state of corporate profits. Net profits not only fell in Q4, but at a faster rate than in the previous two quarters.”

If that reflects in tonight’s PMI, the data could disappoint.

This chart shows the trajectory of PMI and industrial production since 2005:

china pmi

Photo: Bank of America


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