China’s manufacturing output is at its lowest level in seven months, according to the HBSC flash PMI for February.
Any result under 50 indicates contraction. The flash PMI covers the responses of around 85 to 90 per cent of the companies surveyed in the overall HSBC PMI, which is released a week after the flash PMI.
The Australian dollar fell half a cent against the US dollar to around 89.5 cents immediately following the result. It has since recovered to be 89.88 cents at 6:30 am this morning.
Reuters and others note that some economists urge caution when interpreting the Chinese PMI results for February, due to the impact of Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations on factory output.
However, HSBC’s Hongbin Qu has said the results might reflect “underlying momentum for manufacturing growth could be weakening.”