25 Jan 2013 – AAP –
HSBC’s Flash Chinese manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) recorded a stronger than expected reading in January, hitting a 24-month high.
The index rose to 51.9 in January, from 51.5 in December and slightly above expectations of a 51.7 reading.
The positive reading indicates operating conditions in China are improving at the quickest pace in two years.
Any reading above 50 on the index signals expansion.
“At 51.9, January’s HSBC China manufacturing PMI rose for the fifth consecutive month to the highest level in two-years, heralding a good start to the New Year,” Hongbin Qu co-head of Asian economic research at HSBC said.
“Thanks to the continuous gains in new business, manufacturers accelerated production by additional hiring and more purchases.
“Despite the still tepid external demand, the domestic-driven restocking process is likely to add steam to China’s ongoing recovery in the coming months.”
The Chinese economy expanded 7.9 percent in the final quarter of last year, up from 7.4 percent in the previous quarter, according to data released this month.
For all of 2012, the economy expanded 7.8 percent, the slowest annual performance since the 1990s.
Many analysts predict the rebound will peak in coming months before easing off to produce growth of about 8 percent this year.
HSBC’s index is based on responses from 85 to 90 percent of purchasing executives surveyed at 420 manufacturers. The full version is due next week.