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People's Daily Online>>China Business

Manufacturing gains momentum in February

(Xinhua)

15:50, March 01, 2012

BEIJING, March 1 (Xinhua) -- China's manufacturing sector posted the third consecutive month of growth in February on rising new orders and export demand, a sign that the world's second-largest economy is getting back on track, new official data has showed.

The Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), a preliminary readout of the country's manufacturing activity, rose to 51 percent in February 2012, the highest level since October last year, the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP) said Thursday.

The pick-up follows a 50.5-percent reading in January, 50.3 percent in December and 49 percent in November, according to statistics from the CFLP.

A PMI reading of 50 percent demarcates expansion from contraction.

THe CFLP said the rebound was a sign of "steady improvements" in the manufacturing sector.

Liu Ligang, director of the economic research department of ANZ Greater China, attributed the rebound to China's easing monetary policies and improving external climate.

China announced last month that it would cut the reserve requirement ratio (RRR) for banks for the first time this year, which Liu said would help to direct more capital to the real economy.

Though the move has spurred expansion in the manufacturing sector, the 51-percent-reading is still lower than the same periods' average of 52.7 percent in past years, which suggests the foundations of the recovery are not "firm enough," said Peng Wensheng, chief economist for the China International Capital Corporation, the country's largest investment bank.

In breakdown, the manufacturing sub-index edged up 0.2 percentage points to 53.8 percent, the highest since June last year, while backlogs dropped significantly, with a sub-index of 48.8 percent, down 0.9 percentage points from January.

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