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China’s Manufacturing Sector Declines for Fifth Straight Month

China’s manufacturing activity dropped for a fifth successive month. HSBC’s Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) fell from 49.6 in February to 48.1 this month and points to a further weakening of the manufacturing sector.

While input prices and raw materials costs stayed constant, analysts suspect that the manufacturing slowdown may also be impacting hiring, as employment in China is down, too.

Robert Bergqvist, Chief Economist at SEB, stresses the need for containment of the manufacturing contraction, saying that any further drop “could have a kind of spillover effect on consumer confidence, business confidence and then it could be a drag on the global economy, and of course also on the Asian economy.”