China’s manufacturing sector growth moderated at the end of 2020 as output and new work logged slower expansions, survey results from IHS Markit revealed on Monday.
The manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to 53.0 in December from 54.9 in the previous month. The score was also below economists’ forecast of 54.8.
The pace of growth was the slowest in three months. Nonetheless, the score signaled that the sector continued to recover from the Covid-19 outbreak.
According to official PMI survey, the factory Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to 51.9 from 52.1 in November.
The overall slowdown was caused by the slower increase in production, the private survey showed. Firms also reported slower increase in overall new orders due to moderate rise in foreign demand.
Firms were cautious regarding employment as cost cutting initiatives weighed on recruitment.
Manufacturers reported a sharp increase in average input costs in December. The rate of inflation was the steepest recorded for three years and led to a quicker rise in prices charged by manufacturers.
Chinese goods producers generally expect production to be higher than current levels in one year’s time amid forecasts of firmer global demand conditions and an end to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Wang Zhe, a senior economist at Caixin Insight Group said, “In terms of the trend, we expect the economic recovery in the post-epidemic era to continue for several months, and macroeconomic indicators will be stronger in the next six months, taking into account the low bases in the first half of 2020.”
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