China’s Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), which measures large Chinese factories, showed improvement in March, with the PMI index expanding to 53.1, reaching its best level in 12 months, up from 51.0 in February.
However, HSBC’s PMI fell to 48.3 in March from February’s 49.6, mostly in line with a flash PMI reading of 48.1 released in March.
HSBC PMI index tends to measure small and mid-size businesses, many of them dependent on exports, showing continued weakness.
HSBC’s figures also point to factory inflation rising in China. Many economists are expecting that China will undertake easing measures ahead.
March PMI #’s For 3 European countries
48.4- Germany; a slight improvement over 48.1, a preliminary estimate
46.7- France; a new 33 month low
47.7- Italy; still showing some weakness