China's manufacturing output stalls in February

China released Thursday its official measure of factory output for February showing the country had a slight decline.

The purchasing managers' index (PMI) number was 50.1 for the month, down from 50.4 in January.

The country has been trying to recover from a downturn in its economy. Last year, China posted an annual growth of 7.8% — the worst since 1999.

Its failure to move above 51 shows economic expansion is only moderate. A reading below 50 indicates a contraction of manufacturing.

The government's report lists a number of subscategories — like new orders, new export orders, finished goods inventories, imports, raw material inventories, employment, and supplier delivery times — which all showed a similar decline. Only the backlog of work had not changed since the previous month.

Some analysts said the Chinese new year holiday had affected the numbers.

Hat tip, Business Insider

Image: BartlomiejMagierowski /