Area Development
Manufacturing activity in China contracted for a fifth straight month in February, but the decline slowed to a level that falls just short of neutral. Agence France-Presse (AFP) reports that the nation's Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose to 49 in February, up from 45.3 in January, according to statistics from the state-run Federation of Logistics and Purchasing. Economists suggest that the figure suggests a stabilization of the Chinese economy, but that manufacturers should not expect strong business growth this year. "Amid an extremely difficult economic climate, the best they can do perhaps is to survive the global tsunami," says Sherman Chan, an economist for Moody's, quoted by AFP.