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Chinese Manufacturing Fighting an Uphill Battle, March Numbers Show

Image via Flickr by Cory M. Grenier

China’s March manufacturing numbers are out and the data shows that the country’s economy is weak, but not completely doomed. Some analysts see the latest numbers as a light at the end of a long, eight-month tunnel.

The most recent evaluation of the purchasing managers’ index (PMI) in March shows a slight increase at 50.3 – this is up from 50.2 in February.Despite the latest numbers, the Chinese economy is not all bad: “Activity in China’s services industry rose to a four-month high in March, a private survey showed on Thursday, even as persistent weakness in manufacturing has reinforced fears of a sharper-than-expected economic slowdown,” Reuters reports.

The BBC notes, “The figures underscore a growing concern among investors, analysts and government officials that the Chinese economy is slowing.”

Yet, according to Reuters, “The pick-up in services contrasts with a run of weakening economic indicators this year. On Tuesday, two surveys showed manufacturing struggled in March, with activity at smaller, private firms contracting for the third month in a row.”

However, this boom in the service industry does little to comfort purchasing managers and the declining sector and the spreading decay.

The Miami Herald states, “China’s announcement that it would give bigger tax breaks to small businesses, build social housing and accelerate railway construction is yet to dispel concerns about China’s growth momentum. With signs that China’s manufacturing has weakened, investors had expected Beijing to unveil stimulus measures.”

Indeed, the index proves concern of manufacturing is founded despite the economic stimulus.

The decline comes at a time when Indian officials take aim at the Chinese manufacturing industry, likely seizing a weak spot in the country’s PMI. AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi promises a challenge to China’s global manufacturing hub with its own plan to increase production and take the market by storm.

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