- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 1, 2009

BEIJING (AP) - The contraction in China’s manufacturing worsened in March, data showed Wednesday, and President Hu Jintao told a state news agency that the country’s economic problems are increasing.

The purchasing managers index by brokerage CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets _ based on a survey of some 400 companies _ showed manufacturing shrank for an eighth month. It fell to 44.8, down from February’s 45.1, on a scale where numbers below 50 show activity is shrinking.

“Business conditions at Chinese manufacturers continued to deteriorate at a marked rate in March,” Hong Kong-based CLSA said in a statement. It said companies cut more jobs as orders continued to decline.

Manufacturing, which accounts for about 40 percent of China’s economy, has been battered by a collapse in exports and weaker Chinese consumer sales. The government says the decline has thrown 20 million migrant laborers out of work, and communist leaders worry that further job losses could fuel unrest.

“Currently, due to the impact of the international financial crisis and the clear decline in world economic growth, China’s economic difficulties are clearly increasing,” Hu told the Xinhua News Agency in an interview before leaving for the G-20 summit in London.

“This is mainly shown in declining trade, weakening industrial production, management difficulties in some industries and growing employment troubles,” Hu said. He gave no new details on job losses.

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CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets: https://www.clsa.com


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