China’s manufacturing is expanding at a slower pace this month, fueling concern that the world’s second-biggest economy is faltering.
The preliminary reading of 50.5 for a Purchasing Managers’ Index (EC11CHPM) released by HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics compared with a final 51.6 for March. The number was also below the median 51.5 estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of 11 analysts. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.
China’s stocks slumped as the data added to an unexpected slowdown in economic growth, reported last week, that prompted banks including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to cut full-year forecasts. In Washington, central bank Governor Zhou Xiaochuan said April 20 that a 7.7 percent first-quarter expansion was reasonable and “normal,” highlighting reduced expectations after 10 percent-plus rates during the past decade.