Chinese Manufacturing Data Underscore Government Challenges

China’s manufacturing slowdown last month adds to challenges for growth in the world’s second-biggest economy as Premier Li Keqiang maps out the government’s strategy to the nation’s legislature this week.

The Purchasing Managers’ Index (CPMINDX) for February was at 50.2, the National Bureau of Statistics and China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said in Beijing on March 1. That compared with January’s 50.5 reading and the 50.1 median analyst estimate in a Bloomberg News survey. A number above 50 signals expansion.

The data underscore the challenges facing the government as it tries to sustain expansion above Li’s 7 percent bottom line while reining in credit, boosting jobs and curbing social unrest. The yuan’s biggest decline on record against the dollar in February may add to investor concerns that the economy is vulnerable to financial risks.


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