HONG KONG, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- A new survey shows China's manufacturing output continues to downshift and is teetering on the brink of a recession.
The December purchasing managers' index for the manufacturing sector released by the Hong Kong brokerage CLSA was actually up slightly from woeful November numbers, but not enough to lift the gloom over China's massive export-oriented manufacturing sector.
"Output contracted at a record pace, employment fell for the fifth month and work in hand declined," said CLSA Chief Economist Eric Fishwick. "With five back-to-back PMIs signaling contraction, the manufacturing sector, which accounts for 43 percent of the Chinese economy, is close to technical recession."
The Times of London reported Saturday that the index for December, which quantifies the level of orders being places with Chinese factories, came in at 41.2. The manufacturing output index plunged to 38.6 percent.
Fishwick and other analysts say the downturn is bad news for Beijing as the Chinese government grapples with the need to provide a constant flow of new jobs to keep the growing population gainfully employed.