China PMIs Show More Signs Of Tentative Stabilization As Factory Activity Expands For Second Month

It’ll work.

That’s what market participants are likely to say about the latest PMI data out of China.

The official manufacturing gauge printed 50.2 for December, unchanged from November and a tick better than consensus. The range of forecasts from two-dozen economists was 49 to 50.5.

Importantly, this marks two straight months back in expansion territory and comes hot on the heels of data showing industrial profits rebounded sharply in November after plunging the most on record the previous month.

The non-manufacturing gauge was something of a disappointment, though. The services PMI printed 53.5 for December, down from 54.4 in November and below the 54.2 consensus was expecting.

Markets are anxious to know whether incremental easing from the PBoC and the interim trade deal with the US will together succeed in bolstering the fortunes of the Chinese economy, which grew at the slowest pace in decades in 2019.

Imports recently rebounded after six months in contraction, and now we have two consecutive expansion-territory NBS manufacturing PMI prints in the books. You’ll recall that industrial output and retail sales rebounded in November as well, adding to the upbeat narrative.

Throw in the improvement in credit creation that came through last month and the inflection in industrial profits and things are looking better, although the situation is still tedious.


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