CHINA MANUFACTURING CONDITIONS FALL TO SEVEN-MONTH LOW

China workersREUTERS/Aly SongWorkers are pictured in front of a billboard showing an image of trees near a subway construction site in central Nanjing, Jiangsu province, February 19, 2014.

China’s manufacturing conditions fell to a seven-month low of 48.3 in February, according to a flash reading from HSBC.

Analysts expected a reading of 49.5, unchanged from January. Anything below 50 signals contraction.

The production sub-index fell to 49.2 versus 50.8 in January.

The employment sub-index hit the lowest level since Feb. 2009.

HSBC’s Hongbin Qu commented:

“February’s flash reading of the HSBC China Manufacturing PMI moderated further as new orders and production contracted, reflecting the renewed destocking activities. The building-up of disinflationary pressures implies that the underlying momentum for manufacturing growth could be weakening. We believe Beijing policy makers should and can fine-tune policy to keep growth at a steady pace in the coming year.”

Here’s the full table of sub-indexes. Everything got worse:

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