China's Manufacturing Growth Slows to Four-Month Low

China's Manufacturing Growth Slows to Four-Month Low

March's purchasing managers' index for manufacturing, a monthly survey of 600 industrial companies that is seen as an important economic indicator, increased to 55.1 from 55 in February, with any reading over 50 signalling expansion. "The goods producing sector should therefore make a positive contribution to economic growth in the first quarter, as rising demand fueled further improvements in factory production", IHS Markit chief business economist Chris Williamson said.

"The latest PMI survey provided further evidence that United Kingdom manufacturing has entered a softer growth phase so far this year", said Rob Dobson, director at data company IHS Markit.

The PMI for March was 51, down from 51.6 in February.

The growth in manufacturing sector deaccelerated to a five month low in March.

Growth in India's manufacturing sector slowed again in March as both output and new orders fell to its lowest pace since October, according to an industry benchmark.

"New export orders rose during March, thereby marking a five-month period of growth". Although the recent United Kingdom manufacturing PMI reading printed better-than-expected, additional activity measures out on 4th and 5th April could end up dragging the GBP/EUR exchange rate down.

Other nations to post strong growth were Austria (58.0), Greece (55.0) and Ireland (54.1), 10-month, 3-month and 12-month lows respectively.

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Average selling prices also continued to rise at a solid clip, albeit the slowest in the year so far, as companies passed on the rise in purchasing costs.

Whatever higher production occurred is mainly linked to new order growth and favourable demand conditions, the survey pointed out. The peso's depreciation against the US dollar didn't help matters either.

Input prices continued to rise sharply but the rate of inflation eased markedly and was the slowest since July 2017.

"Indeed, amid a slower expected pace of recovery in consumer spending, IHS Markit marginally downgraded its real gross domestic product (GDP) forecast to 7.3% for 2017-2018 fiscal", said Dodhia. Over the month of March all six gained on the PMI scale.

The employment in the manufacturing sector is slightly shrinking.

Output rose for the 14th straight month in the face of "stronger underlying demand".

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