Beijing (AsiaNews) - For the eighth consecutive month, the industrial sector has declined, with a decrease in foreign orders. The figures were issued today by the authoritative HSBC Flash Purchasing Managers Index, according to which the Chinese PMI for the month of June fell to 48.1. In May it was 48.4. For the eighth consecutive month, the PMI is thus below 50: anything above this figure is a sign of growth, below 50 is a sign of contraction.
Today's figures contrast with comments made by Chinese leaders. On June 17, President Hu Jintao said the country has taken "targeted measures" to support domestic demand. China's problem is that its economy still relies heavily on exports. Because of the crisis in Europe and the United States, exports have fallen.
To sustain domestic demand, last May Beijing opened to private investment a number of sectors that formerly had been monopolized by the state, such as railways, hospitals, power plants and energy transmission. It also launched a new wave of infrastructure projects and this month has once again cut interest rates.
The PMI of HSBC does not often coincide with the official one. The reason is that the government takes into account more the state companies; HSBC's estimate is based more on private companies, which feel the crisis more than state companies, that are funded more easily.