China factory activity at 11-month low
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Activity in China's factory sector dipped to a 11-month low in March as new orders shrank, a private survey showed, signaling persistent weakness in the world's second-largest economy that will likely fuel calls for more policy easing to support growth.
The poor reading added to signs that the economy has lost momentum despite two interest rate cuts since November, a reduction in the amount of money banks must keep in reserve and repeated attempts by the central bank to reduce financing costs.The flash HSBC/Markit Purchasing Managers' Index dipped to 49.2 in March, below the 50-point level that separates growth in activity from contraction on a monthly basis. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast 50.6, slightly weaker than February's final PMI of 50.7. Some analysts expect first- quarter economic growth to dip below the government's new full-year target of 7 percent widely seen as the level needed to keep employment steady.