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The Sales Managers Index: China

Released: March 21, 2017

March Data Reflects Rise in Chinese Economy’s Growth

  • Sales Managers’ Index at highest level for 20 months in March
  • Consumer goods and service sector powering stronger economic growth
  • Undervalued Yuan boosts manufacturing growth to 6 month high

Sales Managers’ Index (SMI) data shows that the Chinese economy continued to grow in March, at the strongest pace in 20 months. The unadjusted Headline SMI (52.2) for China increased to the highest level for 20 months on the back of strong improvements in the levels of the Sales and Market Growth Indexes. The Prices Charged Index (51.3) continues to reflect increasing price pressures with the services sector exhibiting larger price increases than manufacturing, suggesting domestic inflation is set to rise from the officially 0.8% CPI value for February. Business confidence continued to grow among Sales Managers with the Business Confidence Index reaching a nine month. This level is low by the historical standards of the boom years but improving sentiment is being vindicated by solid sales and market growth. Managers in the service sector are expressing increased optimism for more favourable conditions over the coming few months with a Business Coincidence Index for Services registering 52.6 while manufacturers are expressing very little optimism that their sectors’ conditions will improve dramatically for the same period.

Headline Sales Managers' Index

   Prices Charged Index

Sales Managers' Index Trends

Direction Speed
SMI Growing Slowly
Business Confidence Growing Slowly
Market Growth Growing Faster
Sales Output Growing Faster
Prices Charged Growing Slowly
Staffing Levels Growing Very slowly
Profit Margins Growing  Very slowly

Market Growth Index

In March, the Chinese Yuan continued to be very significantly undervalued compared with the U.S. Dollar registering -23% on the World Price Index (WPI) scale (see below) signifying that Chinese exports remain very competitive. The SMI China Yuan Strength Index (54.2) continues to suggest that businesses are finding the PPP undervaluation of the Yuan against the USD very favourable however profit margins remain tight, with the Profit Margins Index registering a very low level of 50.7 in March.

World Price Index under/overvaluation March 2017

About China SMI Data

The Sales Managers' Index provide the earliest monthly data on the speed and direction of The China's economic activity.

Key advantages of China SMI:
  • The SMI provides the first indication each month of the speed and direction of economic growth in China .
  • The SMI provides the most complete indication of growth, covering all private sector activity.
  • The SMI is based on a key occupational group - uniquely able to sense changes in business activity levels.
  • The SMI is composite index of business confidence, market growth, sales, prices charged and staffing levels.
  • The SMI is a diffusion index, any index value above 50 indicates growth and below 50 indicates contraction.
About the Sales Managers’ Indexes
About the Sales Managers’ Indexes
About the Sales Managers’ Indexes
About the Sales Managers’ Indexes
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© Copyright World Economics Ltd. 2017