Manufacturing continues to slow in China this month. HSBC released its Flash Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index figures today. It dipped below the 50 mark point to a nine month low.
This is the third month straight that the PMI index, which measures inventory and export orders, has contracted.
The August PMI, as measured by HSBC, was at 47.8.
Markit Economics, a global information services company, says this shows that, (quote) “Chinese producers are still struggling with strong global headwinds.”
Markit Economics also said the figure highlighted the need for a change in monetary policy, saying that, (quote) “to achieve the stated policy goal of stabilizing growth and the jobs market, Beijing must step up policy easing to lift infrastructure investment in the coming months.”
The latest data adds to a sleuth of figures showing a significant slowdown in the Chinese economy.
The official PMI index for August is yet to be released. Some analysts believe it will provide more conclusive data, because it includes many state owned enterprises.
The credibility of official figures has come under question recently though, as critics say they are prone to state manipulation.