May 5, 2014 5:00 pm JST

HSBC China manufacturing PMI rises to 48.1 in April from 40.0 in March

BEIJING (Dow Jones) -- The HSBC China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index, a gauge of nationwide manufacturing activity, rose slightly to a final reading of 48.1 in April from 48.0 in March, HSBC Holdings PLC said Monday. 

     A reading below 50 indicates a contraction in manufacturing activity from the previous month and a reading above 50 indicates expansion.

     "The latest data implied that domestic demand contracted at a slower pace, but remained sluggish," HSBC's chief economist for China, Qu Hongbin, said in a statement.

     "Both the new export orders and employment sub-indices contracted, and were revised down from the earlier flash readings. These indicate that the manufacturing sector, and the broader economy as a whole, continues to lose momentum," he said.

     The final reading was lower than HSBC's preliminary April PMI of 48.3, which was announced April 23. The preliminary figure is based on 85% to 90% of responses to its PMI survey.

     A separate manufacturing index compiled by the government and released last week ticked up to 50.4 in April, compared with 50.3 in March, showing expansion in factory activity for the month. The official measure covers more state-owned companies which have benefited more from the government support policies for the economy.

     The HSBC China Manufacturing PMI is based on data compiled from monthly replies to questionnaires sent to purchasing executives in more than 420 manufacturing companies.