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Index shows factories backin growth after 13 months

By Wang Yanlin (Shanghai Daily)

08:16, November 23, 2012

CHINA'S manufacturing activities may show expansion for the first time in 13 months in November, according to the HSBC Flash China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index, the earliest available indicator of the industrial sector's vitality.

The index climbed to a 13-month high of 50.4 for November, up from October's 49.5 in October, HSBC Holdings Plc said yesterday.

A reading above 50 means expansion, and it was the first time in over a year that the index, slanted towards private and export-oriented firms, bounced back into expansionary territory.

Share prices and oil prices rose following the announcement, indicating bolstered sentiment among global investors.

Qu Hongbin, chief economist for China and co-head of Asian Economic Research at HSBC, said the index confirmed that economic recovery was continuing to gain momentum towards the end of the year.

"However, it is still the early stage of recovery and global economic growth remains fragile," Qu said. "This calls for a continuation of the policy easing to strengthen the recovery."

Barclays economist Chang Jian said the data suggested that the positive signs seen in September and October had been sustained into November with external demand stabilizing and domestic demand improving.

"We expect a moderate rather than a sharp rebound, and continuity, rather than a sudden change in direction, will be the key theme of economic policy-making in the near future," Chang said.

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