The Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for December, released on Wednesday, fell to 49.7 from 50.2 in November, marking the first contraction since May 2017.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast only a marginal dip from November to 50.1, just above the neutral 50-mark dividing expansion from contraction on a monthly basis.
New orders — an indicator of future activity — fell for the first time in two and a half years, with companies reporting subdued demand despite some price discounting. New export orders shrank for the ninth month in a row.
While production edged higher after two months of stagnation, factories cut jobs for the 62nd month in a row. – Reuters, Jan 1