First, the HSBC PMI which came in slightly higher than the 50.4 flash estimate
After adjusting for seasonal factors, the HSBC Purchasing Managers’ Index™ (PMI™) posted 50.5 in November, up from 49.5 in October, signalling a marginal improvement of operating conditions in the Chinese manufacturing sector. Moreover, it was the first improvement of operating conditions recorded in 13 months.
Manufacturing output in China increased during November for the first time since July. The rate of expansion was only modest, but the quickest since October 2011. New orders rose for the second month in a row, although at a slightly weaker pace, (50.8 vs 51.2) while new export orders rose for the first time since April. New export orders increased at a marked rate, (52.1 vs 46.7) with over 17% of panellists indicating growth. A number of firms linked the increase to strengthened demand, particularly in Europe and the US.
Backlogs of work continued to fall (the fourth in successive months), although at a marginal pace, while employment levels also fell. The rate of job shedding was only slight, with a majority of panellists (nearly 88%) indicating no change to staff levels.
Vendor performance worsened for the second month in a row. The pace of deterioration was slightly quicker than in October but remained marginal overall. Respondents linked longer average lead times to lower stock levels held by vendors.
Stocks of finished goods fell for the second successive month, and at a slightly quicker pace than in October. Panellists attributed the depletion of stock to an increased number of sales.
Input prices rose for the second month in November, with the pace of inflation easing slightly from October but remaining solid overall. Meanwhile, output charges fell following a slight increase in October. However, the rate of deflation was negligible, with less than 10% of respondents signalling a reduction of tariffs. A number of firms linked lower output charges to competitive market pressures.
Purchasing activity increased for the second successive month in November, and at a faster pace than in October. Over 18% of panellists signalled a higher level of purchasing activity, with many attributing growth to a higher volume of new orders. Consequently, stocks of purchases also increased, and for the first time in a year.
The Official PMI:
The Purchasing Managers’ Index was 50.6 in November, the National Bureau of Statistics and China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said yesterday in Beijing. That compares with 50.2 the previous month.
New orders expanded for a second month to its highest level since April after contracting for the previous five months, while the output sub-index was the highest in six months at 52.5.
A measure of export orders rose above 50 for the first time since May, with gains boosted by Christmas demand, the federation said in a separate statement. (Bloomberg)
This is from the official PMIs via FT Alphaville: