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Manufacturing growth in China slowed marginally in February as operating conditions improved but at a weaker pace, according to HSBC's latest Flash Purchasing Managers' Index™. The headline figure of 50.4 in February represents a four-month low and is down on January's reading of 52.3.

Output, purchases and new orders all increased but at a slower rate while new export orders decreased, in a change of direction. Output and input prices both rose but at a slower rate. Employment levels grew but the rate of growth was down on the previous month.

Despite the moderation of February's Flash PMI™, the index recorded the fourth consecutive reading above the 50 critical line

Qu Hongbin,
Chief Economist,
Greater China, HSBC

The Flash China Manufacturing Output Index for February fell to 50.9, a four-month low. This compares to 53.1 in January.

Qu Hongbin, Co-Head of Asian Economic Research and Chief Economist, Greater China, said: "The Chinese economy is still on track for a gradual recovery. Despite the moderation of February's Flash PMI™, the index recorded the fourth consecutive reading above the 50 critical line. The underlying strength of Chinese growth recovery remains intact, as indicated by the still-expanding employment and the recent pick-up of credit growth."

Any figure above 50 shows manufacturing growth, while below 50 signals contraction. The report is based on data compiled from monthly replies to questionnaires sent to purchasing executives in more than 420 manufacturing companies.

HSBC's final China Manufacturing PMI™ for February is due on Friday, 1 March.

The intellectual property rights to the HSBC Flash China Manufacturing PMI™ provided herein is owned by Markit Economics Limited. Any unauthorised use, including but not limited to copying, distributing, transmitting or otherwise of any data appearing is not permitted without Markit's prior consent. Markit shall not have any liability, duty or obligation for or relating to the content or information ("data") contained herein, any errors, inaccuracies, omissions or delays in the data, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. In no event shall Markit be liable for any special, incidental, or consequential damages, arising out of the use of the data. Purchasing Managers' Index™ and PMI™ are trade marks of Markit Economics Limited, HSBC use the above marks under license. Markit and the Markit logo are registered trade marks of Markit Group Limited.

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