Business conditions for Chinese manufacturers improved further in April although overall activity still declined, according to the final reading of a monthly survey by HSBC released Wednesday. The monthly manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index rose to 49.3, up from a preliminary "flash" reading of 49.1 and a full point higher than March's 48.3 print. But the measure stayed below the threshold of 50, indicating a contraction from the previous month. HSBC chief China economist Hongbin Qu said the data confirmed that the pace of China's slowdown has stabilized, and that the economy's 8.1% expansion in the first quarter was "likely to be the cyclical trough." The HSBC data also contrasted with an official manufacturing survey by the China Federation of Logistics & Purchasing, released Tuesday, which put the April PMI at 53.3, compared with 53.1 in March.
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