China manufacturing activity ticks up in April but still contracts
Published on Apr 23, 2014 9:54 AM
BEIJING (Reuters) - China's manufacturing downturn eased slightly in April as declines in new orders and output slowed, a preliminary survey showed on Wednesday, though factory activity showed an overall contraction for the fourth straight month.
The HSBC/Markit flash Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for April rose to 48.3 from March's final reading of 48.0, still below the 50 line separating expansion from contraction.
The survey showed contractions in new orders and output moderated somewhat, though new export orders slipped back below the 50 line after a pickup in March, suggesting that the external environment remains difficult for Chinese firms.
The survey indicated a weak start to the new quarter, and came after figures last week showed that China's economy expanded 7.4 per cent between January and March from a year earlier, its slowest pace in 18 months.
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