We're About To Find Out If China's Economy Is Actually Slowing Down Again

china steel factory

We’re expecting HSBC Flash PMI for China at 9:45 p.m. ET.

Economists polled by Bloomberg are looking for flash PMI to rise to 50.8 in March, from 50.4 the previous month.

Official PMI fell to 50.1 in February. Remember, a reading below 50 indicates contraction.

Meanwhile, industrial production increased 9.9 per cent in the Jan-Feb period, compared with a 10.3 per cent rise in December.

The slowdown in manufacturing is part of the reason investors are getting anxious about a Chinese hard landing again. A Bank of America survey of global investors showed that those expecting strong growth fell to 14 per cent in March, from 60 per cent.

Now BAML’s Ting Lu has lowered his GDP forecasts.

He expects Q1 and Q2 growth to come in at 7.9 per cent and 8.1 per cent, down from earlier estimates of 8.3 per cent for both quarters respectively. For 2013, he expects growth of 8 per cent, down from 8.1 per cent.

“With the recent weak IP growth, the brought-forward property tightening measures, the new leaders’ serious crackdown on government’s luxury consumption, the demand for much tougher stance on environment protection and the worsening situation in Europe, we cut forecast of China’s annual GDP,” he writes.

While previous data was taken with a grain of salt because of the impact of the New Year, the March PMI numbers should give a clearer picture of manufacturing.

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