China HSBC Flash PMI Rises to 49.6

Manufacturing in China remained stuck in a rut in June, with HSBC flash PMI data showing some improvement from May, but still indicating contraction for a fourth straight month.

The HSBC flash PMI for June rose to 49.6, above the 49.4 forecast in a Reuters poll, but still below the key 50 level which separates contraction and expansion. The official PMI came in at 50.2 last month.  The data were a mixed bag, Annabel Fiddes, economist at Markit, said in a statement with the data.

“On the one hand, the sector shows signs of improvement as output stabilized amid a slight pick up in total new work,” Fiddes said. “On the other hand, manufacturers continued to cut their staff numbers, with the latest reduction the sharpest in over six years.”