China April factory growth unexpectedly slows: official PMI

April 30, 2019

BEIJING (Reuters) – Growth in China’s factory activity unexpectedly slowed in April, an official survey showed on Tuesday, suggesting the economy is still struggling to regain traction despite a flurry of support measures.

The official Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to 50.1 in April from 50.5 in March, which had been the first expansion in four months, data from the statistics bureau showed. The 50-point mark separates expansion from contraction on a monthly basis.

Analysts surveyed by Reuters had forecast the PMI would be unchanged from March’s reading, pointing to continued but modest expansion.

China’s economy grew a steady 6.4 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, defying expectations of a further slowdown. March factory output, retail sales and investment all grew faster than expected, fueling hopes that conditions were starting to stabilize.

The encouraging March data had prompted a major shift in the market’s expectations for more stimulus this year, with analysts and investors scaling back forecasts for the timing and size of further support measures.

(Reporting by Beijing Monitoring Desk; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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