A Chinese factory gauge fell to a seven-month low in December, suggesting further stimulus is needed to halt a slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy.
The preliminary Purchasing Managers’ Index from HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics was at 49.5, missing the median estimate of 49.8 in a Bloomberg survey and lower than last month’s 50.0. Numbers below 50 indicate contraction.
The reading suggests a downturn deepened in December even after efforts by the central bank to ease monetary conditions, including with a cut to benchmark interest rates last month. Readings of output, new orders, employment and input and output prices all declined, the report showed.