Beijing, March 22: After a shocker of GDP growth rate cut to 7.5% last week, today came another shocker from China as HSBC purchasing manager index (PMI) showed indication of further slowdown on Thursday.
The HSBC PMI data released today showed that index fell to 48.1in March, after showing a rebound at 49.6 in February.
After a general projection of better factory growth post lunar month, it was a big surprise for many as PMI further showed that new job creation touched two-year low and export order failed to materialize.
Index, with 50 as base to decide expansion or contraction, in China's case at 48 still implies industrial growth of 11-12% and GDP growth above 8%, half a percentage point higher than govt estimates.
Although, PMI is consistently below 50 since June 2011, but it is much higher than 2009 low of below 40, signaling some policy action from central bank.
China aims to keep below 4% and accordingly push monetary policy to adjust liquidity. The central bank has already cut the required reserve ratio by 50 bps twice since November and another cut is not expected before the second half.
However, China's official PMI is at 51 for February, indicating expansion.
As the eurozone debt crisis is still on the horizon, March PMI showed that new order sub-index fell to 46.1, with new export order showing second straight month of shrinkage. Manufacturing output fell to two month low.
Say it eurozone aftershock of potential domestic shock, in either case global economy might be heading for another round of crisis, and this time it is dragon who is at risk. A falling dragon could have much bigger repercussions than a weak Greek gladiator.