A gauge of China’s factory activity improved in February, reflecting stronger output and domestic demand but the outlook for exports remained dim. The HSBC China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to a final reading of 50.7 in February from 49.7 in January, HSBC Holdings PLC said Monday.
A reading below 50 indicates a contraction in manufacturing activity from the previous month, whereas a reading above indicates expansion. Companies surveyed reported the strongest expansion of output since last summer while total new business also rose at a faster rate, HSBC said.
But new export orders contracts for the first time since April 2014, it said. The final reading was higher than HSBC’s preliminary February PMI of 50.1, announced Feb. 25. The preliminary figure is based on 85% to 90% of responses to its PMI survey.
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