The HSBC/Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) measuring factory sector activity rose to 50.7 in February, up a full point over January’s figure and marking a seven-month high even as export orders shrank and manufacturers faced deflationary pressures, Reuters reported. The boost pushes China’s PMI across the 50-point threshold marking the difference between industry growth and contraction, but this improvement aside, the new export orders sub-index dipped to 48.5 last month, and manufacturing employment shrank for a 16th month–although the pace of job shedding did slow.
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