China factory index shows fastest deterioration in a year

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

HONG KONG (AP) — A report says Chinese manufacturing suffered its sharpest contraction in a year in April in a further sign of the weakness in the world's No. 2 economy.

HSBC's manufacturing index based on a survey of factory purchasing managers fell to 48.9 in April from 49.6 in March.

The index is based on a 100-point scale on which numbers below 50 show contraction.

The index level is worse than a preliminary reading of 49.2 released in late April.

The report said total new orders declined at the fastest rate in a year while production levels stagnated.

HSBC's index comes after an official survey by the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing found that manufacturing activity barely budged in April.