The Official NBS Manufacturing PMI in China rose unexpectedly to 50.5 in March 2019 from a three-year low of 49.2 in the previous month and beating market expectations of 49.5. It marked the first increase in manufacturing activity since December last year, amid a rebound in both output (52.7 vs 49.5 in February) and buying activity (51.2 vs 48.3), and a faster rise in new orders (51.6 vs 50.6). At the same time, both new export orders (47.1 vs 45.2) and employment (47.6 vs 47.5) shrank at a softer rate. On the price front, input prices rose sharply and marking the second straight month of gain (53.5 vs 51.9); while output charges went up for the first time in five months (51.4 vs 48.5). Finally, business sentiment strengthened to its highest in seven months (56.8 vs 56.2). Business Confidence in China averaged 51.88 Index Points from 2005 until 2019, reaching an all time high of 59.20 Index Points in April of 2008 and a record low of 38.80 Index Points in November of 2008.
Business Confidence in China is expected to be 51.60 Index Points by the end of this quarter, according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts expectations. Looking forward, we estimate Business Confidence in China to stand at 50.90 in 12 months time. In the long-term, the China NBS Manufacturing PMI is projected to trend around 51.00 Index Points in 2020, according to our econometric models.