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HSBC Purchasing Managers’ Index™ Press Release

Commentary

China’s goods producers reported an eighth successive month-on-month deterioration in operating conditions during June, as output, incoming new orders and employment continued to decrease. After adjusting for seasonal factors, the HSBC Purchasing Managers’ Index™ (PMI™) – a composite indicator designed to give a single-figure snapshot of operating conditions in the manufacturing economy – inched lower from 48.4 to 48.2 in June, a level indicative of a modest pace of deterioration in business conditions. For the second quarter as a whole, the index averaged its lowest quarterly value since Q1 2009.

A lack of demand was behind the latest deterioration in operating conditions, with total and foreign new orders falling at accelerated rates in June. New export orders placed at goods producers dropped at the steepest rate in over three years. North America and Europe were both cited as sources of new order book weakness. Meanwhile, the month-on-month fall in overall new orders (exports plus domestic) was the strongest in 2012 to date. The drop in total new orders led to a further decline in manufacturing output, extending the current period of contraction to four months. However, the rate of decline in factory output remained marginal.

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