The Chinese industrial economy kept growing a bit faster than economists had expected in February, although the impact of recent interest rate hikes curbed activity somewhat.
According to the official Federation of Logistics and Purchasing, the Chinese purchasing managers index (PMI) dipped to 52.2 from a January reading of 52.9. Economists had steeled the market to expect a slightly deeper dip to 52.1, but in any event the reading of above 50 indicates that Chinese factories are still ramping up new activity.
While many hope that slowing growth in China will curb local inflationary pressure, so far the progress has been sluggish. Input prices climbed to 70.1, indicating that if anything, local wholesale inflation is accelerating. This is likely a factor of commodity and power costs, and given the recent oil spike is almost certain to remain in the picture for some time to come.