Private survey of China’s factory activity in June shows lowest reading since January

Business

Chinese employees working on an energy-saving bulb production line in Suining, Sichuan province, China.

STR | AFP | Getty Images

China’s manufacturing activity shrank unexpectedly in June, coming in at its weakest level since January, according to a private survey. 

The Caixin/Markit factory Purchasing Managers’ Index for June was 49.4. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected the indicator to come in at 50. The PMI reading for May was 50.2.

The June reading was the lowest since January when the indicator came in at 48.3.

PMI readings above 50 indicate expansion, while those below that signal contraction.

China’s official PMI stood at 49.4 in June, contracting more than expected, according to China’s National Bureau of Statistics on Sunday. That was unchanged from the previous month. Analysts polled by Reuters had predicted a reading of 49.5.

The official PMI survey typically polls a large proportion of big businesses and state-owned enterprises. The Caixin indicator, features a bigger mix of small- and medium-sized firms.

The PMI is a survey of businesses about the operating environment. Such data offer a first glimpse into what’s happening in an economy, as they are usually among the first major economic indicators released each month.

For China, the PMI is among economic indicators that investors globally watch closely for signs of trouble amid domestic headwinds and the ongoing U.S.-China trade dispute.

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