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01 Mar 2021 | 08:20

Chinese factory growth slows in February - Caixin

(Sharecast News) - Growth in China's manufacturing sector eased back in February, according to figures released on Monday. The Caixin purchasing managers' index fell to 50.9 from 51.5 in January, coming in below consensus expectations for a reading of 51.4. This was the lowest level since May and marked the third consecutive monthly decline.

Wang Zhe, senior economist at Caixin Insight Group, said that overseas demand continued to drag down overall demand.

"Surveyed manufacturers highlighted fallout from domestic flare-ups of Covid-19 in the winter as well as the overseas pandemic."

Meanwhile, the official manufacturing PMI released on Sunday came in at a nine-month low of 50.6 compared to 51.3 in January. A reading above 50.0 indicates expansion, while a reading below signals contraction.

Capital Economics said: "The survey data suggest that manufacturing activity didn't receive the boost we had expected as a result of workers not being able to return home for the Lunar New Year.

"The PMIs are seasonally-adjusted, so should take into account the usual pattern of firms' shutdowns in the festive period, though adjustment isn't always exact. Looking ahead, given that the surge in infections in January has been quashed, the recovery in services activity should resume before long.

"The big picture, supported by the latest figures, is that China's growth remains fairly robust, but it is slowing from previously very rapid rates."
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