China's manufacturing activity at nine-month low: HSBC

Beijing, June 20 (IANS) China's manufacturing activities fell to a nine-month low this month, according to a preliminary survey from HSBC.

The HSBC Flash Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for June fell to 48.3, the lowest level since October and down from 49.2 in May, according to figures released by HSBC Thursday.

An index reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below 50 means contraction.

Qu Hongbin, chief economist of HSBC China, said China's manufacturing sectors are weighed down by waning external demand, moderating domestic demand and rising destocking pressures, reported Xinhua.

The sub-index for manufacturing output dropped to an eight-month low of 48.8, while those for new orders and new export orders both fell from the previous month, the data show.

Qu said he expects China to see slightly weaker growth in the second quarter, as ongoing reforms may have a limited impact in the short term.

HSBC Wednesday cut its forecast for China's GDP growth this year to 7.4 percent, down from its previous forecast of 8.2 percent.

China's GDP growth slowed to 7.7 percent in the first quarter from 7.9 percent recorded during the last quarter of 2012, data from the National Bureau of Statistics show.

The government has set its growth target for this year at 7.5 percent in a bid to seek quality and efficient economic growth.

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