China's Economy Throws Off Mixed Signals

High-rise buildings under construction in Sanya, China Photograph by Keith Bedford/The New York Times/Redux

What to make of China’s economy? First the good news: On April 1, China’s logistics federation and the National Bureau of Statistics released the March Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), which with a 53.1 reading was at a one-year high, and showed the economy expanding. But a separate gauge published the same day, by HSBC and U.K.-based market survey firm Markit Economics, showed instead manufacturing decreasing as export orders fall, the fifth straight month of a downward trend.

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