China Loses Another Economic Indicator as Minxin Suspends PMI

  • Minxin was new kid on block after flash Caixin PMI scrapped
  • Spokesperson for academy didn't detail why indicator suspended

Publishers of the China Minxin purchasing managers index said they will stop updating the gauge of manufacturing to make a "major adjustment" to their calculations, dealing a second setback in recent months to investors looking for an early read on the economy.

Release of the unofficial purchasing managers index jointly compiled by China Minsheng Banking Corp. and the China Academy of New Supply-side Economics will be suspended starting this month, the Beijing-based academy said in an e-mailed statement Monday, about six hours before the latest monthly data were scheduled for release.

Minxin’s suspension is the second in recent months as policy makers in the world’s second-largest economy struggle to arrest a deceleration in growth. Another early estimate of China’s manufacturing sector, a flash gauge of a purchasing managers index compiled by Markit Economics and sponsored by Caixin Media, was discontinued Oct. 1.

The PMI data may eventually be released in a different format, according to the statement Monday. Peng Peng, a spokesman for the academy, said in response to an emailed question that there was no timetable for when publication would resume. Peng didn’t respond to an emailed question asking why the gauge was suspended.

Purchasing-manager indexes gauge strength in categories such as manufacturing or services by surveying companies about whether conditions are improving, deteriorating or remaining the same. A 50 level typically divides between strengthening and weakening. A second PMI reading for services also was suspended, the academy said Monday.

Minxin’s PMI readings are based on a monthly survey covering more than 4,000 companies, about 70 percent of which are smaller enterprises. The private gauges have shown a more volatile picture than the official PMIs in the past year.

The manufacturing PMI declined to 42.4 in November from 43.3 in October, while the non-manufacturing reading fell to 42.9 from 44.2, according the the latest release. The factory gauge fell to a record low of 41.9 in August. China’s official PMI from the National Bureau of Statistics fell to a three-year low of 49.6 in November.

For September, the now-discontinued flash Markit/Caixin PMI fell to a six-year low, while the official PMI reading showed a modest improvement.

Markit’s flash indicator was originally published in a partnership with HSBC Holdings Plc, which ended its sponsorship earlier this year. Caixin, a Chinese business magazine, took over. Markit hasn’t said why the advance reading for China was discontinued.

— With assistance by Xiaoqing Pi

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