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China PMI -- improving, but still ambiguous, situation [ClearOnMoney]
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China PMI -- improving, but still ambiguous, situation

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Commentary

China PMI -- improving, but still ambiguous, situation

2 May 2012 by Jim Fickett.

Both the private PMI and the government PMI improved a little from March to April, however it remains a little difficult to interpret the data because the government PMI indicates expansion while the private one indicates contraction. Fitch suggests this is because there really are two separate economies – the government PMI represents the highly favored state-owned enterprises, while the private PMI represents the true private sector.

Fitch via Reuters:

For nine out of the last 10 months HSBC has shown a contracting economy, whereas the government figure has remained above the important 50-level, only dipping below in November 2011 but then expanding again in the last five months.

Fitch notes the official PMI figure reflects positive returns from large state-owned enterprises in particular, whereas the HSBC index covers only private sector entities excluding the large number of public sector entities. The divergence of the indicators may reflect differential terms of access to credit, with the contracting HSBC index representing the tighter credit conditions for private companies whereas the expanding official index reflects China's large state-owned entities, which enjoy support for growth and expansion and have easier access to funding.

(See the Reference page China PMI for background and data sources.)