Summary Box: Mixed economic signals from China
MIXED MANUFACTURING BAG: A new survey suggests that manufacturing in China contracted in April for the sixth straight month, though the rate of deterioration had slowed.
GLOBAL VIEW: Economists fear that China's economy is cooling off quickly, which during the recession had been one of the few economic bright spots. Adjusted for seasonal conditions, HSBC's purchasing managers index, or PMI, for April was 49.3, up from 48.3 in March. The index has remained below 50, the level indicating expansion, since October.
CHINA'S PATH: With inflation a lingering threat, China's policymakers are trying to spur growth without creating new price pressures. However, HSBC economist Qu Hongbin said easing monetary conditions will likely help boost growth in coming months. Hongbin expects Chinese GDP growth to bottom out in the second quarter and recover modestly during the second half of the year.