Category Archives: China Manufacturing PMI

5/1/20: BRIC Manufacturing PMIs 4Q 2019


As global manufacturing sector activity barely stayed above the recession line in 4Q 2019, BRICs manufacturing PMIs indicated a cautious upswing in activity, with exception for Russia and India. Here are the core details:

  • Brazil's 4Q 2019 Manufacturing PMIs averaged 51.8, statistically unchanged on 3Q 2019 figure of 51.9. Both 3Q and 4Q readings were statistically above 50.0, indicating modest growth, and above historical average of 50.3. Nonetheless, 4Q 2019 reading was the second lowest in six consecutive quarters.
  • Russia posted its second consecutive quarter of recessionary growth readings for manufacturing sector, with quarterly average PMI slipping to 46.8 in 4Q 2019, down from 48.2 in 3Q 2019, making 4Q contraction the sharpest since 2Q 2009. All in, the last time Russian manufacturing sector posted statistically above 50.0 reading was in 1Q 2019. The signal here is severely negative to overall growth prospects for the Russian economy for the entire 2019 and a major concern for the 1H 2020 dynamics. 
  • China manufacturing PMI surprised to the upside in the last quarter of 2019, rising from 50.6 in 3Q 2019 (a reading statistically indistinguishable from zero growth 50.0 mark) to 51.7 in 4Q 2019 (a reading indicating moderate expansion, compared to the historical average of 50.8). Statistically, Chinese manufacturing has not been in an expansion mode over 3Q 2018 - 3Q 2019 period, which makes 4Q 2019 reading an important signal of a potential turnaround.
  • India manufacturing PMI averaged 51.5 in 4Q 2019, slightly down on 51.8 in 3Q 2019. This is the weakest level since 3Q 2017, but statistically it is still indicative of expansion in the sector.
Overall, BRIC Manufacturing PMI (based on each country share in global GDP) has improved from 50.7 in 3Q 2019 to 51.2 in 4Q 2019, marking the fastest rate of the group's manufacturing sector expansion 1Q 2018 and the second consecutive quarter of the index being statistically above the 50.0 zero growth line.

Globally, manufacturing sector growth conditions improved from 49.5 in 3Q 2019 to 50.1 in 4Q 2019, although statistically, no reading from 2Q 2019 onwards was significantly above or below the zero growth 50.0 line.


As the chart above clearly shows, Global Manufacturing sector activity remains extremely weak. On-trend, more recent BRICs Manufacturing sector growth is above that of the Global PMI signal, but both show weaknesses. 

4/3/19: BRIC Manufacturing PMI: January-February Trend


In January-February 2019, Global manufacturing PMI sunk to its lowest reading since 2Q 2016 averaging 50.7 over the first two months of the year. With it, the slowdown has also been impacting the BRIC economies, overall BRIC Manufacturing PMIs average 41.2 in 4Q 2018 based on each country share of the global GDP for 2018, below 51.83 average for Global Manufacturing PMI over the same period. In the first two months of 2019, BRIC Manufacturing PMI was around 50.8, statistically indistinguishable from the 50.7 Global PMI average.


As the chart above clearly indicates, poor BRIC performance was driven by a contraction-territory reading for China (49.1 in January-February 2019 as opposed to stagnation-signalling 50.0 in 4Q 2018), and Russia (50.5 for the first two months of 2019, against 4Q 2018 average of 51.9). In contrast, both Brazil and India outperformed BRIC and Global PMI readings. Brazil's Manufacturing PMI averaged 53.1 in the first two months of 2019 against 52.1 in 4Q 2018, while India's PMI rose to 54.1 in January-February this year against 53.4 in 4Q 2018.

All in, Manufacturing sector leading indicator suggests a major slowdown in the Global growth momentum, and some spillover of this slowdown to Russia and China.  Brazil's robust reading so far marks the fastest pace of expansion since 1Q 2010, on foot of a recovery from a very long and painful recession. India's reading is the highest since 2Q 2012. If confirmed over March and over Services PMI, this implies a major diversion of growth momentum within the BRIC group.

4/3/19: BRIC Manufacturing PMI: January-February Trend


In January-February 2019, Global manufacturing PMI sunk to its lowest reading since 2Q 2016 averaging 50.7 over the first two months of the year. With it, the slowdown has also been impacting the BRIC economies, overall BRIC Manufacturing PMIs average 41.2 in 4Q 2018 based on each country share of the global GDP for 2018, below 51.83 average for Global Manufacturing PMI over the same period. In the first two months of 2019, BRIC Manufacturing PMI was around 50.8, statistically indistinguishable from the 50.7 Global PMI average.


As the chart above clearly indicates, poor BRIC performance was driven by a contraction-territory reading for China (49.1 in January-February 2019 as opposed to stagnation-signalling 50.0 in 4Q 2018), and Russia (50.5 for the first two months of 2019, against 4Q 2018 average of 51.9). In contrast, both Brazil and India outperformed BRIC and Global PMI readings. Brazil's Manufacturing PMI averaged 53.1 in the first two months of 2019 against 52.1 in 4Q 2018, while India's PMI rose to 54.1 in January-February this year against 53.4 in 4Q 2018.

All in, Manufacturing sector leading indicator suggests a major slowdown in the Global growth momentum, and some spillover of this slowdown to Russia and China.  Brazil's robust reading so far marks the fastest pace of expansion since 1Q 2010, on foot of a recovery from a very long and painful recession. India's reading is the highest since 2Q 2012. If confirmed over March and over Services PMI, this implies a major diversion of growth momentum within the BRIC group.

1/3/18: BRIC Manufacturing Sector ends 2017 with an upside


Quarterly Manufacturing Sector PMIs for BRIC economies have once again underperformed global indicators in 4Q 2017.

Global Manufacturing PMI for 4Q 2017 stood at 54.0, up on 53.0 in 3Q 2017 and marking the fastest rate of quarterly expansion in the sector on record (since 2Q 2013*). In comparison, BRIC Manufacturing quarterly PMI-based indicator stood at 51.6 in 4Q 2017, up on 51.0 in 3Q 2017. This marks the highest reading for the BRIC Manufacturing PMIs (quarterly basis) since 1Q 2013.



For individual BRIC economies:

Brazil Manufacturing Quarterly PMI measure was up at 52.4 in 4Q 2017, rising from 50.6 in 3Q 2017 and marking the third consecutive quarter of above 50.0 (nominal) readings. In statistical terms, 4Q 2017 was the first quarter with statistically significant growth signal since 1Q 2013, and marked the second fastest pace of expansion since 1Q 2011. With three consecutive quarters of above 50.0 nominal indicator readings, it is reasonable to assume that the Manufacturing sector recession of 3Q 2013-1Q 2017 is now over and the economy is moving into a new period of expansion.

Russia Manufacturing q-PMI measure slipped from 52.1 in 3Q 2017 to 51.5 in 4Q 2017. Russian Manufacturing has been posting distinctly weaker PMI readings in 2Q 2017 - 4Q 2017, with sharper pace of expansion of 4Q 2016 - 1Q 2017 being replaced by rather anaemic rates of growth since the start of 2Q 2017. This stands contrasted by Services sector that currently drives Russian economic growth. 

China Manufacturing posted q-PMI reading of 51.1 in 4Q 2017, marginally unchanged on 51.2 in 3Q 2017. Since 3Q 2016, Chinese Manufacturing was held within the pattern of weak growth, with q-PMIs ranging from 50.1 though 51.3. In fact, last time Chinese Manufacturing q-PMI reached above 51.3 was in 1Q 2013. Judging by PMIs, Chinese manufacturing is barely growing. Which continuously puts a big question mark over both the headline GDP figures coming out of China and the PMIs.

India Manufacturing qPMI jumped from 50.1 in 3Q 2017 to 52.5 in 4Q 2017, the highest rate in 12 quarters. Both Services (48.0) and Manufacturing (50.1) were very soft in 3Q 2017, and the to-date (through November 2017) reading for qPMI for Services sector (50.1) is still weak, so 4Q reading for Manufacturing qPMI is a welcome sign that things might be firming up on the growth side.

All, in, BRIC Manufacturing sector remains a weak contributor to Global growth. This weakness appears to be structural and consistent across a range of years. Dynamically, both Global and Manufacturing qPMIs are closely correlated and have been running in tandem since 2Q 2014.



*Please, note: my data for this indicator - not reported by Markit, but based on market’s monthly reports - goes only to 2Q 2013. Markit have repeatedly ignored my requests for data going back before that period, despite their claim that they assist independent academic researchers in gaining access to their data.

9/4/17: BRIC Manufacturing PMIs 1Q 2017: Stalling Momentum


1Q 2017 PMIs for Manufacturing are painting a mixed picture for the world's largest emerging economies, the BRIC group.

Brazil's Manufacturing PMIs averaged 46.8 in 1Q 2017, compared to 45.9 in 4Q 2016 and 46.0 in 1Q 2016. All in, 1Q 2017 marked 12th consecutive quarter of Manufacturing PMIs signalling contraction in activity. Although 1Q 2017 reading was the highest since 1Q 2015, current indicator simply implies that the rate of Brazilian manufacturing sector contraction has abated somewhat, even though the downward momentum remains in place. This means that Brazil remains the worst performing BRIC Manufacturing sector for the eighth consecutive quarter. One relatively brighter spot is that March Manufacturing PMI for Brazil came in at 49.6 - the highest monthly reading since February 2015 and relatively close to zero growth line of 50.0. It is worth watching in months to come if there is a sustained momentum in Manufacturing activity up, and if Brazil finally starts showing signs of an economic recovery from what has proven to be a horrific recession so far.

Russian Manufacturing PMIs averaged 53.2 in 1Q 2017, unchanged in 4Q 2016 and up on 49.1 average for 1Q 2016. This marks the third consecutive quarterly PMI reading for Manufacturing that sits above 50.0 marker. As Russian economy gained significant recovery momentum in 4Q 2016 and into 1Q 2017, Russia now leads BRIC Manufacturing PMIs for the second consecutive quarter, providing solid upward support for global manufacturing growth. Still, despite robust numbers and despite three consecutive quarters of growth, Russian manufacturing sector and the economy at larger remain relatively exposed to the downside risks, including risks relating to energy and commodities prices, as well as to the lack of structural reforms within Russia. We have been awaiting for some time now for the long promised Government plans for achieving sustainable growth in the economy into the early 2020s, and the plan is still lacking.

Indian Manufacturing PMIs averaged 51.2 in 1Q 2017, down from 52.1 in 4Q 2016 and worse than 51.5 reading for 1Q 2016. 1Q 2017 was the weakest of three consecutive quarters, suggesting that the economy is having difficulty recovering from the botched de-monetization experiment by the Indian Government. Few outside India are willing to call the experiment botched, primarily because it involved advice and partial funding from the U.S. agencies, but the process was a disaster for the Indian economy.

Chinese Manufacturing PMIs also came with a disappointing whimper. PMIs averaged 51.3 in 1Q 2017 on par with 4Q 2016, quashing the hopes that the credit stimulus of the 2H 2016 will translate into domestic demand uplift. Current index reading for China is not statistically significantly different from 50.0, implying a general lack of growth momentum in the Chinese manufacturing. So far, Manufacturing PMIs managed to stay above 50.0 marker (nominally, not statistically) for three consecutive quarters, but the total average for these quarters is coming in at only 51.0.

Table and charts below summarise BRIC Manufacturing PMIs dynamics through 1Q 2017:



Overall, BRIC Manufacturing PMI Average (a metric computed by me using Markit data) came in at 51.1 in 1Q 2017, down marginally on 51.2 in 4Q 2016, although up on 49.2 reading for 1Q 2016. As the chart above clearly shows, of all BRIC economies, only Russia is posting Q1 2017 Manufacturing activity in line with Global Manufacturing growth and dynamically, BRIC as a group is exerting downward pressure on global manufacturing sector.

The news, therefore, are not great for the global manufacturing economy (stalled growth momentum in 1Q 2017), and for the BRIC economies.

Stay tuned for analysis of Services and Composite figures.