China's factory activity edges up in September

China's factory activity edges up in September

US and China have been locked in a trade war for over a year, with the world's two biggest economies imposing tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars in bilateral trade
US and China have been locked in a trade war for over a year, with the world's two biggest economies imposing tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars in bilateral trade

BEIJING: China's manufacturing sector showed unexpected signs of improvement with two indexes showing Monday that manufacturing activity edged up in September, despite ongoing trade pressure with the United States.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose from 49.5 in August to 49.8 this month -- better than predicted in a Bloomberg survey of economists.

However, for the fifth month it remained below the 50 level that divides expansion from contraction.

But an independent gauge, the Caixin China Manufacturing PMI, was more optimistic, saying there was a modest improvement in overall operating conditions during September, with production and total new orders both expanding at quicker rates than the month before.

The Caixin manufacturing PMI increased from 50.4 in August to 51.4.

The US and China have been locked in a bruising trade war for more than a year, with the world's two biggest economies imposing tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars in bilateral trade.

Caixin said confidence among goods producers was still "subdued" as worries persisted over the outcome of China-US trade negotiations, set to continue next month in Washington.

Julian Evans-Pritchard, of Capital Economics, said the improved data was unlikely to mark the start of a turnaround.

"Not only is global demand set to weaken further, but the long-overdue pull-back in property construction is getting under way," he said.

"And with the fiscal stance unlikely to be loosened during the remainder of the year, the (central bank) will find it an increasingly hard sell to refrain from more decisive monetary easing."

Government data released earlier this month showed that industrial output grew by 4.4 percent year-on-year throughout August, falling to its lowest level in 17 years and down from 4.8 percent in July.

Earlier this month, China's central bank slashed reserve requirement ratios for banks -- freeing up about $126 billion to boost lending to mostly small and medium enterprises.


Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT

China seeks to join TPP free trade pact to boost Asia clout

BEIJING: China on Friday began in earnest work to advance its application to become a member of the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade deal, a day after filing a bid to join the pact in an attempt to increase its economic clout in the Asia-Pacific region.

11:07

Phuket reports 5 more Covid deaths, 238 new cases

PHUKET: Five more Covid-19 deaths and another 238 infections, two of them from the Phuket sandbox programme, were reported in this island province.

11:06

Giant sequoias wrapped in foil protection against US forest fires

LOS ANGELES: The world's biggest trees were being wrapped in fire-proof blankets Thursday in an effort to protect them from huge blazes tearing through the drought-stricken western United States.

09:15