Chinese manufacturing business activity rebounded slightly in February but still stayed in contraction territory after falling to a 28-month low in January, official data showed on Sunday.
The manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI), a key measure of factory activity in China, posted at 49.9 in February, up from 49.8 in the previous month, according to the data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing.
A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below 50 represents contraction.
The index of last month ended a losing streak lasting for four consecutive months since last October and showed China’s manufacturing contraction has narrowed.
The marginal improvement was attributable to recent pro-growth policies, such as a reserve requirement ratio (RRR) cut and tax breaks, and steady global commodity prices, said Zhao Qinghe, a senior statistician of the NBS.
The sub-index of new order rose to 50.4 in February from 50.2 in a month earlier, while the sub-index for raw material inventories climbed from 47.3 to 48.2.
The PMI dropped below the 50-point mark in January, the first time since October 2012, marking looming downward pressure on the economy.