Released: 21 May 2018

China’s Manufacturing and Service Sectors Exhibit Robust Sales Growth in May

  • Headline Sales Managers’ Index at 51.8 in May
  • Price inflation continues to fall across all sectors to the lowest level in 16 months
  • Business Confidence Index remains unchanged

Sales Managers’ Index (SMI) data shows that the Chinese economy continued to grow in May. This month’s level is consistent with the level reported in April, indicating that the recent increase in growth during Q1 has lost some momentum. However, during the past month there has been a slight increase in the rate of growth in the levels of the Market Growth, Sales Growth and Staffing Levels Indexes. Price inflation across all sectors has also decelerated from the recent peak in March, falling to a 16 month low in May. Panel members have indicated that this slowdown in the Prices Charged Index can be mainly attributable greater market place competition and preparation for a possible trade war with the US.

Overall, SMI data paints a picture of modest but robust growth for the Chinese Economy in May after an encouraging start to the year.

Full April SMI Data Tables can be downloaded now.


Sales Managers' Index (SMI)

The Headline Sales Managers' Index (SMI) - a composite indicator designed to provide the most up-to-date assessment of business activity.

Business Confidence Index

The Business Confidence Index measures the level of optimism/pessimism amongst sales for future conditions.

Market Growth Index

The Market Growth Index monitors the underlying growth of the market segments into which the panel members sell.

Sales Growth Index

The Sales Growth Index defines the speed and direction of overall sales of goods and services made by business during the month.

Prices Charged Index

The Prices Charged Index measures the speed and direction of changes in the current price of goods and services taking into account any discounts offered.

Staffing Levels Index

The Staffing Levels Index monitors the level of growth or decline in employment against the same period a year earlier.


Manufacturing Sector – [Download Data Tables]

Key findings for the Manufacturing sector can be found in the Sales Managers’ Index for Manufacturing.


Non-Manufacturing Service Sector– [Download Data Tables]

Key findings for the Services sector can be found in the Sales Managers’ Index for Non-Manufacturing.




About China SMI Data

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

Key advantages of the 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.


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