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Manufacturing hits 14-month high (2)

By Gao Changxin  (China Daily)

10:58, December 17, 2012

Kowalczyk's forecast was supported by a jump in electricity consumption last month.

The National Energy Administration said the nation consumed 7.6 percent more electricity in November than in the same period last year.

The service sector, in particular, saw an increase of 12.4 percent, reflecting consumption gaining strength.

The positive PMI reading excited investors on Friday. The major Shanghai Composite Index jumped 4.32 percent, or 89.15 points, to close at 2150.63 points. The index reached its highest point since Aug 10 and posted the biggest single-day gain in percentage points since Oct 9, 2009. Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng Index ended 0.71 percent higher.

The data also creates a positive mood ahead of the upcoming annual Central Economic Work Conference, where China's new leadership is expected to assess economic conditions and set priorities for next year's economic work.

The sub-index of new export orders was one of a few sub-indexes that registered a reading below 50, in line with economists' expectations that the country's exports will remain lackluster in December and into 2013.

November's exports grew only 2.9 percent year-on-year, down sharply from 11.6 percent in October. Total foreign trade expanded 1.5 percent in the month, making it effectively impossible to meet the full-year growth target of 10 percent.

Exporters are feeling the pinch from weak overseas demand, and some of them have already started to react.

"Many leather manufacturers in our city are turning their attention to the domestic market," said Zheng Yi, general manager of Chaofan Leather Co in Guangzhou, Guangdong province.

Weak exports have pushed his company to turn to the domestic market this year, Zheng said.

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