China manufacturing improves slightly

@CNNMoney April 23, 2012: 8:03 AM ET

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- China's manufacturing sector contracted in April, but not as much as in the previous month, according to a preliminary survey of purchasing managers released Monday.

HSBC's flash index rose to 49.1 in April from 48.3 the previous month. Any reading below 50 indicates contraction of the manufacturing sector.

Among report components, HSBC said employment and manufacturing output continued to contract, but not as quickly as in March.

The report shows that the Chinese economy won't slow as rapidly as some analysts have feared, according to Hongbin Qu, HSBC's chief economist for China.

"That said, the pace of both growth and demand output remains at a low level in a historical context and the job market is under pressure," Qu noted in the report.

Qu advocated further economic easing by the Chinese government. To top of page

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