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Manufacturing activity seen continuing to pick up pace

By Li Qiaoyi (Global Times)

10:13, December 03, 2012

China's manufacturing activity continued its upward trend in November. (File photo)

China's manufacturing activity continued its upward trend in November, according to official figures released Saturday, offering the latest sign that the world's second largest economy is bouncing back after seven straight quarters of slowdown.

The purchasing managers' index (PMI) increased to 50.6 in November from the previous month's 50.2, driven by rising new orders and new export orders, the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP) announced Saturday.

A reading above 50 signals expansion; a reading below 50 points to contraction.

The reading marks the third consecutive month of increased activity in the country's manufacturing sector, and "suggests that future economic growth is expected to continue a mild recovery," Zhang Liqun, an analyst with the CFLP, said in a statement posted on the federation's website Saturday.

Though the November PMI reading is slightly weaker than market expectations, "it's especially encouraging that the rise of the PMI was mainly driven by new orders, suggesting output will be further boosted in coming months," Lu Ting, Hong Kong-based China economist at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, said in a note sent to the Global Times over the weekend.

Lu said the slowdown in the Chinese economy had bottomed out, with GDP growth at a more than three-year low of 7.4 percent in the third quarter. The economy "is on track to grow 7.8 percent in the fourth quarter and 8.3 percent in the first half of 2013," Lu noted.

The official PMI data is one of the earliest gauges of the economic climate during November, and economic indicators for the month revealing changes in credit, exports and industrial output are expected later this month.

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