Chinese manufacturing firms signalled a further slight improvement in overall operating conditions during May. Total new work rose at a faster pace, supported by a renewed increase in export sales, while production was broadly stable. As a result, backlogs of work continued to expand, though firms retained a relatively cautious approach to staffing levels. Inflationary pressures remained subdued, with input costs rising only slightly while output charges were unchanged from the previous month. However, business confidence regarding the year ahead softened midway through the second quarter. The headline seasonally adjusted … (full story)

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