HSBC China PMI fell to 48.5 in February, in line with expectations.
This compares to a reading of 49.5 the previous month.
A reading below 50 indicates contraction.
This month saw the first contraction in both new orders and output since July 2013.
Meanwhile, the rate of job cuts was the fastest since March 2009.
“The final reading of the HSBC China Manufacturing PMI confirmed the weakness of manufacturing growth,” HSBC China economist Hongbin Qu said in a press release.
“Signs become clear that the risks to GDP growth are tilting to the downside. This calls for policy fine-tuning measures to stabilise market expectations and steady the pace of growth in the coming quarters.”
Here’s a look at the ugly trajectory of HSBC China PMI:
We already saw official PMI fall to an eight-month low of 50.2.
Economists have said that markets should interpret the PMI data with some caution because of the impact of the Lunar New Year holiday.
But Societe Generale’s Wei Yao pointed out that “0.8 point decline in January and February combined was still sharper than the average decline of 0.5 point during the same period historically.” What’s more the decline was broad-based with all the sub-indices slowing.
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