A Chinese manufacturing index fell more than estimated in January to a six-month low, a private survey showed.
The preliminary reading of 49.6 for a Purchasing Managers’ Index released Thursday by HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics compares with a final figure of 50.5 in December and a 50.3 median estimate of 19 analysts in a Bloomberg News survey. A number above 50 indicates expansion.
The report gives one of the first indications of the economy’s performance in 2014 after data earlier this week showed gains in factory output eased last month, sapping momentum as a credit clampdown adds pressure on the outlook. Growth slowed to 7.7 percent in the fourth quarter from 7.8 percent in the July-September period, according to Jan. 20 figures from the statistics bureau.
Thursday’s report, known as the Flash PMI, is based on 85 percent to 90 percent of responses to surveys sent to more than 420 manufacturers. The final reading will be released on Jan. 30.
The National Bureau of Statistics and the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing release their own survey of manufacturing purchasing managers on Feb. 1. The gauge’s December reading was 51.0, a four-month low and down from November’s 51.4.
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