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POLITICAL ECONOMY
China official manufacturing index expands in December
by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Jan 1, 2013


China's manufacturing activity expanded in December at the same pace as November, official data showed Tuesday, adding to signs the world's number two economy is emerging from a recent slumber.

The official purchasing managers' index (PMI) reached 50.6 in December, unchanged from the previous month, according to the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing and the National Bureau of Statistics.

The PMI is a widely watched barometer of the health of China's economy, and a reading above 50 indicates expansion while anything below points to contraction.

The result, the highest since April, marked the third straight month the index has shown growth but it fell short of the the median 51.0 forecast of five economists polled by Dow Jones Newswires.

The data came a day after a survey by banking giant HSBC showed manufacturing activity surged to a 19-month high of 51.5 from 50.5 in November.

A steady strengthening in China's manufacturing sector, and improvements in areas including broader industrial production and retail sales, have spurred optimism that the country's economic slowdown has bottomed out.

Growth hit a more than three-year low of 7.4 percent in the third quarter to September, though data for the October-December fourth quarter has led to expectations of a pick-up.

Beijing is expected to release gross domestic product data for the past three months later in January.

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POLITICAL ECONOMY
China manufacturing activity hits 19-month high
Beijing (AFP) Dec 31, 2012
China's manufacturing activity surged to a 19-month high in December, British bank HSBC said Monday, adding to signs of recovery in the world's second-largest economy. The year's final purchasing managers' index (PMI) from the lender hit 51.5, up from 50.5 in November when the figure returned to growth after 12 consecutive months of contraction. A reading above 50 indicates expansion in ... read more


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