Posts tagged ‘purchasing managers index’

04/12/2015

Selective Equality? China Retirement Age Plan Sparks Backlash Among Women – China Real Time Report – WSJ

China’s policy makers have long accepted the need for workers to delay retirement to ease social and fiscal pressures from a rapidly aging population. Few, however, could agree on how to do it.

This week, state-backed researchers fueled fresh debate on the issue with a new proposal on how to coax more productive years out of China’s silver-haired generation. They called for gradually extending the country’s statutory retirement thresholds over the next three decades, culminating in a flat retirement age of 65 years. But their plan is proving unpopular. It is particularly striking a nerve among some women, who in China can retire between five and ten years earlier than men. The statutory retirement age for men is set at 60 years.

On social media, many female users mocked what they perceived as selective pursuit of gender equality. “In 2045, would there be equal pay between men and women? Would men be able to give birth?” a user, who identified as female, wrote on the popular Weibo microblogging service. “Chinese society, in reality, is rife with gender inequality; why bring about gender equality in retirement age?” another user wrote.

In an online survey, the state-run China National Radio found nearly 80% of respondents objected to setting a flat retirement age for men and women. “Delaying retirement is understandable, but setting the same retirement age for men and women isn’t compatible with our country’s conditions,” CNR quoted a Weibo user as saying. “Men would only have to work five more years, while women would have to work ten years longer. And women still have to face family pressures, so it’s clearly unsuitable.”

The proposal from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences comes amid a longstanding debate in government and academic circles on how to implement a much-needed but deeply unpopular policy. Beijing has said it will gradually raise retirement thresholds starting in 2022, though the policy would only be finalized in 2017. Under rules unchanged since the 1950s, China allows most female workers to retire when they turn 50, while women in public-sector jobs can do so at 55 years of age. To change this, the CASS researchers proposed that the government could in 2017 set a flat retirement age for women at 55 years, eliminating the distinction between private and public-sector workers. Authorities could begin extending retirement thresholds—for men and women—at a fixed pace, starting in 2018.

CASS researchers suggest adding a year to the female retirement age every three years, while doing so for men every six years. Beijing could also allow flexibility for workers to bring forward or delay their retirement by up to five years, on the condition that their pension payouts would be adjusted accordingly, CASS said.

Source: Selective Equality? China Retirement Age Plan Sparks Backlash Among Women – China Real Time Report – WSJ

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21/10/2015

Time to end China’s one-child policy urgently: government advisers warn of demographic crisis ahead | South China Morning Post

Government advisers have strengthened calls for China to further ease its stringent one-child policy urgently, ahead of a meeting this month during which the Communist Party’s decision-making body will set the tone for national economic and social development for the next five years.

Newborns receive vaccines in a hospital in China. Photo: Reuters

In a report recently submitted to the authorities, China’s top think tanks urged Beijing to immediately relax restrictions on the number of children couples are allowed to have, according to an academic with knowledge of the matter.

The report was based on a survey jointly conducted by several institutes including the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Renmin University and a think tank under the national family planning office, said the academic, who did not want to be named.

“There is already a consensus among China’s demographers that the limits should be relaxed,” said Wang Feng, a demographer with the University of California, Irvine, and a guest professor at Fudan University. “It’s … already too late to be doing so.”

While the survey’s contents were not made public, an earlier report by the China Business Network, a consultancy group, said it included predictions of the population trend and when it would peak. The survey had been commissioned by the decision-making authorities, highlighting the likelihood of a revision in the policy, the group said.

Source: Time to end China’s one-child policy urgently: government advisers warn of demographic crisis ahead | South China Morning Post

20/10/2015

Survey Shows China Passes U.S. in Stuff Built – China Real Time Report – WSJ

China is the world’s No. 2 economy by most measures, but by one it has surpassed the U.S. China has overtaken the U.S. as the world’s wealthiest nation in terms of built assets in 2014, and is likely to double that of the U.S. by 2025, according to the Arcadis Global Built Asset Wealth Index.

The study compares 32 countries in terms of their buildings and infrastructure – homes, schools, roads, airports, power plants, malls, rail tracks  and other structures. In fact, China’s stock of built assets will exceed the next four economies combined in the next 10 years, according to the index.

The firm calculates the data at purchasing-power-parity rates, which adjusts the figures to account for differing costs in each country. That measure tends to boost the size of figures from developing countries. China has the largest stock of built assets at $47.6 trillion in 2014 and the U.S. came in second at $36.8 trillion, according to the study released Monday. In the last report, the U.S. was ahead at $39.7 trillion in 2012 compared to China’s $35.4 trillion. China’s rapid asset building came alongside soft investment in the U.S. to replace old machinery, equipment and buildings, the report said.

The index is billed as an alternative economic indicator to measure a country’s performance. the index quantifies the value of a country’s infrastructure as well as its public and private property.

Policymakers have been trying to direct the Chinese economy to rely more on consumer spending rather than investment. Still,  the pace of economic rebalancing has been slow, leading to softer growth despite some positive signs in China’s consumer sector.

The transition “is encountering difficulties, as the government has repeatedly used fiscal stimulus to try to meet its growth targets,” said the report. “The proportion of the economy accounted for by investment is falling only very slowly.  This keeps China’s built asset stock growing rapidly.”

China’s economy grew at 6.9% in the third quarter this year, falling below 7% for the first time since 2009. In the past two years, Beijing has been struggling to turn to more sustainable drivers of growth amid mounting concerns about manufacturing overcapacity and an oversupplied property market.

“There is also likely to be significant underutilization of assets in China given growth is so rapid and much asset creation is pre-emptive, also known as ‘build it and they will come,’” said the biennial report. Since 2000, China has invested $33 trillion in built assets, with its investment in infrastructure at 9% of GDP, dwarfing the U.S.’s current 2%said the report. In per capita terms, however, populous China appears far from being overbuilt.

China’s built asset wealth per person stood at $34,100, which ranks it No. 24 worldwide, unchanged from its previous ranking in 2012, according to the index. The latest figure is slightly less than a third of the U.S. per capita figure of $114,100. The countries at the top of this ranking are disproportionately made up of smaller nations by population or area, hence the density of built asset stock is much greater per resident, the report said.

Source: Survey Shows China Passes U.S. in Stuff Built – China Real Time Report – WSJ

03/07/2014

China services sector booms in June, suggest economy steadying | Reuters

Activity in China’s services sector expanded at its fastest pace in 15 months in June, a private survey showed on Thursday, reinforcing signs that the broader economy is stabilizing.

A worker wipes sweat on his forehead next a man taking a nap on a bench, in Beijing June 23, 2014.  REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

The services purchasing managers’ index (PMI) compiled by HSBC/Markit rebounded to 53.1 in June from 50.7 in May, well above the 50-point level that demarcates expansion in activity from contraction.

“The expansion in the service sector reinforces the recovery seen in the manufacturing sector, and signaled a broad-based improvement over the month,” said Qu Hongbin, chief economist for China at HSBC.

via China services sector booms in June, suggest economy steadying | Reuters.

06/06/2014

China’s services sector grows apace, mirroring rebound in manufacturing | South China Morning Post

China’s services sector grew at its fastest pace in six months last month as new orders rebounded, an official survey showed, reinforcing hopes that the economy may be steadying after a tumultuous few months.

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The official non-manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) climbed to 55.5 from April’s 54.8, the National Bureau of Statistics said. That is well above the 50-point level that separates an expansion from a contraction in activity.

In a sign of buoyancy in the sector, new orders rebounded to an eight-month high of 52.7 from April’s 50.8. Business expectations also held their ground at a solid 60.7, compared with April’s 61.5.

The pick-up in the services PMI echoes a rebound in the factory sector, which turned in its best performance in four months last month as export orders improved, although activity still contracted, a private survey showed yesterday.

The final reading of the HSBC/Markit PMI for May rose to 49.4 from 48.1 in April, although lower than a preliminary “flash” reading of 49.7.

The final PMI was weaker than the flash reading because of an upward revision of the inventory of finished goods, HSBC said.

via China’s services sector grows apace, mirroring rebound in manufacturing | South China Morning Post.

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25/03/2014

Why China’s Manufacturing Sector Has Hit a Wall – Businessweek

More bad economic news out of China: A key indicator released on March 24 showed that the manufacturing sector of the world’s second-largest economy contracted for the fifth straight month.

The HSBC and Markit purchasing managers’ index fell to 48.1 in March, below the 48.7 expected by analysts in a Bloomberg News survey (a number above 50 indicates growth). “The weakness appears even more pronounced given that there is usually a seasonal rebound after the Chinese New Year holiday,” said Julian Evans-Pritchard, China economist at London-based Capital Economics, in a March 24 note.

The lackluster showing of the so-called Flash PMI (usually based on results from 85 percent to 90 percent of companies surveyed; the final reading will be released April 1) follows weak investment, industrial production, and export numbers in the first two months. “The old growth engine is losing steam,” Chen Xingdong, chief China economist at BNP Paribas in Beijing, told Bloomberg News.

via Why China’s Manufacturing Sector Has Hit a Wall – Businessweek.

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05/05/2013

* China Still Has a Long Way to Go to Build a Service Economy

BusinessWeek: “The bad news keeps coming. Following two days of dismal numbers showing China’s manufacturing sector is slowing, now the service sector has disappointed. The not-so-happy takeaways: Don’t expect an economic recovery soon, and Beijing’s much sought-after goal of rebalancing still looks far off.

Shoppers pick up vegetables at a market in Beijing

On May 3, China’s National Bureau of Statistics and the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing announced that their nonmanufacturing purchasing managers’ index cooled to 54.5 in April, down from 55.6 the month before. Anything above 50 indicates expansion. The index tallies responses from 1,200 companies in 27 service industries, including retail, catering, construction, and transportation. A separate services index will be released by HSBC (HSBA) on May 6.

“The reading suggests that growth momentum will remain relatively soft” in the second quarter and that China’s economy “has shifted to a weaker growth trajectory,” Crédit Agricole CIB (ACA) economist Dariusz Kowalczyk said to Bloomberg News.

Beijing has set a goal of weaning its economy off excessive reliance on investment and exports and rebalancing toward a cleaner, more sustainable, services and consumption-driven GDP. That requires an end to artificially low interest rates, the undervalued yuan, and subsidized energy prices (three-quarters of energy goes to industry), as well as more government social spending, argue Nicholas Lardy and Nicholas Borst, of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, in a February policy brief.

“Higher lending rates lead to less capital-intensive economic development resulting in more job creation, higher household income, and ultimately higher levels of household consumption,” write Lardy and Borst. (Household consumption makes up a very low 37 percent of GDP today, while investment has exceeded 40 percent every year for the past decade). And “an appreciation of the currency would also decrease the profitability of the export-oriented manufacturing sector to the relative benefit of the service sector of the economy, which has languished since 2002,” the authors add.

via China Still Has a Long Way to Go to Build a Service Economy – Businessweek.

See also: https://chindia-alert.org/2013/04/19/chinas-growth-the-making-of-an-economic-superpower-dr-linda-yueh/

22/03/2012

* China factory activity falters, markets take fright

Reuters: “China’s economic momentum slowed in March as factory activity shrank for a fifth straight month, leaving investors fretting about the risks to global growth and anticipating fresh policy support from Beijing. The HSBC flash purchasing managers index, the earliest indicator of Chinas industrial activity, fell back to 48.1 from February’s four-month high of 49.6. New orders sank to a four-month low, an expected rebound in export orders failed to emerge and new hiring slumped to a two-year low.

“With new export orders sluggish and domestic demand still softening, China’s slow down has yet to finish. This calls for further easing to come from Beijing,” HSBC chief China economist, Qu Hongbin, said in a statement. …

Broad-based weakness in the five key components that generate the headline index level surprised analysts, particularly those who had anticipated a clear cut rebound in factory activity in March after the Lunar New Year disrupted output in the first two months and distorted the data. “This data suggests there’s something more profound at work, that it’s not just a Lunar New Year problem and that it’s not just affecting exports, but domestic demand,” Tim Condon, chief economist and head of Asian research at ING in Singapore, said. …”

via China factory activity falters, markets take fright | Reuters.

02/03/2012

* Chinese manufacturing continues to expand

China Daily: “Manufacturing bounced back to a five-month peak in February, supported by stronger exports, easing concerns about a possible contraction.

The purchasing managers’ index, an indicator of manufacturing activity, hit 51 last month, 0.5 points higher than January, the National Bureau of Statistics and the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing revealed on Thursday.

It has stayed above the 50-point level for three consecutive months after it dropped to a 32-month low of 49 in November. A reading higher than 50 means expansion, while below 50 shows contraction.

“The continually increasing PMI proves the nation is undergoing an economic rebound,propped up by industrial production,” Zhang Liqun, a research fellow with the DevelopmentResearch Center of the State Council, said.”

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2012-03/02/content_14735838.htm

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