A key gauge of Chinese manufacturing activity tumbled to a 15-month low in July, an independent survey showed, throwing a pall over growth in the world’s second-largest economy. The preliminary reading of Caixin’s Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) came in at 48.2 this month, the Chinese media group said in a joint statement with Markit, a financial information services provider that compiled the survey.
The figure was the weakest reading since 48.1 in April 2014, according to Markit’s data. The index, which tracks activity in factories and workshops, is seen as a key barometer of the country’s economic health. A figure above 50 signals growth, while anything below indicates contraction.
Caixin took over sponsorship of the PMI survey from British banking giant HSBC this month. July’s flash PMI was worse than the market expected, Chen Xingdong, a Beijing-based economist with BNP Paribas told AFP. ‘China’s industrial economy has had a hard landing or is in industrial recession in my opinion,’ he said.