HSBC China Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) in September indicates that operating conditions improved fractionally since the previous month, according to the figures released Monday.
After adjusting for seasonal factors, the HSBC China PMI posted at 50.2 in September, broadly unchanged from 50.1 in August. It was a positive development, with the PMI signaling a further improvement upon July's 11- month low.
Figures showed that output across the Chinese manufacturing sector expanded for the second successive month in September, though the rate of growth slowed to a fractional pace. Nonetheless, new business from overseas increased for the first time in six months, with panelists citing stronger demand from client bases in Europe and the United States.
Stocks of finished goods declined for the third successive month, though only slightly. According to a number of surveyed firms, an increased amount of new business led to the depletion of inventories. Greater volumes of incoming new work led to a modest accumulation of work-in-hand.
The survey also indicated that average production costs increased for the second consecutive month in China's manufacturing sector. The rate of input price inflation was marked, with nearly 14 percent of respondents noting increased cost burdens. Higher prices for raw materials such as steel and oil were said to have driven inflation.
Commenting on the figures, Hongbin Qu, chief economist in China & Co-Head of Asian Economic Research at HSBC said that the September HSBC China Manufacturing PMI edged up slightly from August. New orders remained flat from the previous month, while external demand improved.
"Manufacturers restocking process continued but remained relatively slow. Growth is bottoming out on Beijing's mini- stimulus. We expect continuous policy efforts to sustain the recovery," said Qu.