Updated: September 19, 2017

China’s Sales Growth Remains Robust but 
Business Confidence Evaporates
  • Sales Managers’ Index eases to 4 month low
  • Staffing index reflects flat job market
  • The Prices Charged Index remains stable for third consecutive month

Sales Managers’ Index (SMI) data shows that the Chinese economy continued to grow in September but at a slower rate than has been the case for some time. The Headline for China SMI slowed to the second lowest value in the past 11 months. Leading the slowdown is the drop in the Sales Growth Index from 56.1 in August to 54.8 in September. Sales managers have expressed worry that this trend will continue with the Business Confidence Index stuttering to the meagre level of 50.3. Panellists have explained that their companies have been lowering capital expenditure, inventories of stock, and limiting their exposure to underperforming accounts to increase their capacity against possible coming risks and future challenges. The Prices Charged Index slowed in the Manufacturing sector in September with a value of 55.6. The Non-Manufacturing sector that represents consumer goods and Services; also slowed to 50.6, indicating significantly lower rate of price inflation.

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.

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 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.