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A new gauge of economic activity developed by Fielding Chen at Bloomberg Economics, which aggregates the earliest available indicators into one reading, a moderate slowdown in China is underway.

Key Highlights:

The early indicators offer signals of a slowdown underway, not a definitive account. Factories might still be humming along, even while demand from the property sector and the rest of the world starts to lose steam. Industrial indicators for April  surprised to the upside, though trade indicators in the month’s PMI readings softened.

The dashboard data based on real-time market prices and business surveys depict more of the on-the-ground situation in the private sector, while the official gauges tend to lean towards the state sector.

Chen noted: “The surprising strength in factory activities in April may not be sustained a few months down the road,” adding that the activities will be more in line with the slowing property, infrastructure and consumption demand. “We are expecting a gradual slowdown this year.”