MADRID, 1 Mar. (EUROPA PRESS) -
The activity of Chinese companies accelerated its growth during the past month of February, according to the official readings of the Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) and those of the PMI calculated by Caixin, which in both cases exceeded the expectations of the market consensus.
According to data published by the National Statistics Office (ONE), the manufacturing PMI for February stood at 52.6 points from 50.1 in January, reaching its highest level since 2020, while the reference estimated by Caixin was stood at 51.6 points, compared to 49.2 points in January.
"In February the economy experienced a faster pace of recovery after a spike in the recent wave of Covid infections as supply and demand expanded, demand abroad increased, employment began to recover and logistics recovered at a faster pace," summarized Wang Zhe, a senior economist at Caixin Insight Group.
In the month of February, according to official data, the manufacturing production index was 56.7%, an increase of 6.9 percentage points compared to the previous month, while the new orders index was 54.1%, a increase of 3.2 percentage points.
Likewise, the employment index in the manufacturing sector was 50.2%, compared to 47.7 percentage points in the previous month, which indicates that the amount of labor employed by manufacturing companies increased compared to the previous month.
For its part, the Chinese statistical office indicated that, in February, the non-manufacturing business activity index was 56.3%, compared to 54.4% the previous month, including an advance of the construction sector to 60.2 % from 56.4%, as well as the services sector at 55.6%, an increase of 1.6 percentage points from the previous month.
The new orders index was 55.8%, up from 52.5% in January, with construction advancing to 62.1% from 57.4%, while the services index improved to 54.7 % from 51.6%.
Likewise, the non-manufacturing employment data rose to 50.2%, an increase of 3.5 percentage points compared to the previous month, including an improvement of 5.5 points in construction, up to 58.6%, and of 3 .2 points in services, up to 48.7%.
"The elevated PMI readings partly reflect the weak starting point of the economy and are likely to recede before long as the pace of the recovery slows," said Julian Evans-Pritchard, an analyst at Capital Economics.
However, the expert has highlighted that the February data underline how quickly activity has recovered after the reopening of the wave of infections.
"We already expected a quick rebound in the short term, but the PMIs suggest that even our forecast for 5.5% GDP growth this year, above consensus, may prove too conservative," he added.