The preliminary Purchasing Managers’ Index from HSBC Holdings and Markit Economics was 48.3 in April, matching the median estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News, Bloomberg reported. That beat the final March figure of 48 but the reading still shows a contraction in Chinese manufacturing for a fourth straight month. A reading above 50 shows expansion. Sustained weakness in manufacturing could pressure Premier Li Keqiang to expand efforts to support growth beyond what some analysts have dubbed a “mini stimulus” package of railway spending and tax relief.
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