Tale of Diverging China PMI Reports

by Mike ‘Mish’ Shedlock
Mish Talk

For most of last year, China’s official PMI was above the Markit Chinese PMI report. Now the situation is reversed with Markit saying conditions are better than China’s official report. What’s going on?

[…] Please consider China PMIs: a Tale of Two Surveys.

China’s purchasing manager indices, which take the pulse of factory activity by surveying companies, are a puzzle. There is the official government measure and a private one, produced by Caixin-Markit, a media and research group partnership — and each paints a very different picture.

In the first half of 2014, for example, the official chart stayed above 50 while the Caixin PMI showed manufacturing slumping. That was the year China’s growth hit a 24-year low of 7.4 per cent, missing the government’s target of 7.5 per cent, and property prices started to fall.

The March to June quarter this year brought a recurrence of that: the official measures showed manufacturing growing — but only just — while Caixin-Markit showed manufacturing falling. But In July’s PMI the two measures swapped sides:

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