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Financial News: China's Factory Activity Logs Moderate Growth In May

China's Factory Activity Logs Moderate Growth In May

06/01/2018 - 02:01:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - China's manufacturing sector logged a moderate expansion in May, as seen in April, survey data from IHS Markit showed Friday.

The Caixin Purchasing Managers' Index remained unchanged at 51.1 in May, while it was forecast to improve slightly to 51.2.

A score above 50 indicates expansion. Operating conditions have strengthened in each month for the past year. Production rose at a fractionally faster pace in May but that failed to match growth rates seen at the start of the year.

Manufacturers signaled that new orders expanded at a faster pace on improved client demand. Concurrently, new export business fell for the second straight month.

At the same time, companies reduced staffing levels again as part of efforts to cut costs and raise efficiency.

On the price front, survey showed that cost pressures picked up in May, with average input prices rising at the fastest rate for three months. As a result, prices charged for manufactured goods climbed at a solid pace that was the fastest in 2018 so far.

Manufacturers remained optimistic that output would increase over the next year amid forecasts of rising client demand and the launch of new products.

While the PMIs suggest that growth momentum held up well in May, they need to be taken with a grain of salt as they have painted an overly rosy picture of the health of China's economy recently, Julian Evans-Pritchard, an economist at Capital Economics, said.

Official survey data released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Thursday, showed that the factory PMI rose to 51.9 in May from 51.4 in April. Likewise, the non-manufacturing PMI improved to 54.9 from 54.8 a month ago.

The World Bank forecast China to expand 6.5 percent in 2018 and 6.3 percent for next year. But the lender cautioned that high corporate indebtedness and rising trade tensions are the main risks to China's growth outlook.

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