China Factory Growth Slows to 9-Month Low: NBS
The official NBS Manufacturing PMI for China fell to 50.6 in February 2021 from 51.3 a month earlier and less than market expectations of 51.1. This was the weakest growth in factory activity since May 2020, due to a resurgence in local COVID-19 infections ahead of the Lunar New Year festival. Output expanded the least in a year (51.9 vs 53.5 in January), new order growth slowed to an eight-month low (51.5 vs 52.3), and buying levels increased the least since May last year. At the same time, new export orders dropped for the first time in six months (48.8 vs 50.2), while employment contracted for the tenth month in a row and at a steeper rate (48.1 vs 48.4). As for prices, input prices rose slightly less though remained elevated (66.7 vs 67.1), with factory prices rising faster (59.5 vs 57.2). Looking ahead, sentiment strengthened from January's six-month low (59.2 vs 57.9).
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