China's manufacturing sector activity in January was likely to shrink for the second month in a row, heightening concerns about the risks associated with a slowdown in China and a threat to the global economy.
Industrial leader Caterpillar has become another major international company that warned of declining demand in China, followed by chip makers and Apple. According to the average forecast of 33 economists, the official index of purchasing managers in China (PMI) in January will drop to 49.3 points from 49.4 points in December. January figures may be the weakest since February 2016. In addition, in front of the big New Year holidays and many businesses just close. Some are closing even earlier than usual, because the protracted trade war with the United States has a negative effect on orders. If Washington and Beijing do not reach a compromise that will ease the pressure on tariffs, many businesses are likely to close down forever.
In any case, weak PMI data increases the likelihood that Beijing can accelerate and intensify policy mitigation and stimulation efforts this year. Nevertheless, there remains a high probability that in the coming months business conditions in China may deteriorate, growth may fall below 6 percent in the first half of the year from 6.4 percent in the fourth quarter and stabilize only at the end of the year. This is confirmed by sources in the government, who report that the authorities are planning to reduce the growth target to 6-6.5 percent this year from 6.5 percent in 2018.
The material has been provided by InstaForex Company - www.instaforex.com