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March 2, 2017

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Better than expected figures for China PMI

CHINA’S manufacturing activities expanded faster than market expectations last month, adding to signs of economic recovery.

The official Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to 51.6 points in February from 51.3 percent in January, the National Bureau of Statistics said yesterday.

The reading stayed at the expansion zone of above 50 for seven consecutive months and was higher than market expectations for 51.2 according to a Bloomberg survey.

Zhao Qinghe, an analyst with the statistics bureau, said the positive data revealed more active production in the manufacturing industries and greater demand both domestically and overseas.

The sub-index for production was 53.7 percent, 0.6 percentage points higher than that recorded in January. The sub-index for new orders was up 0.2 percentage points to 53 percent.

New export orders and imports both improved for the third consecutive month.

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group said the strong manufacturing activities in the first two months might translate into year-on-year GDP growth of 6.7 to 6.8 percent in the first quarter, beating previous expectations.

“A strong infrastructure pipeline and better-than-expected exports bode well for the near-term economic outlook,” ANZ said in a note.

The National People’s Congress will start this weekend when the country’s leaders unveil China’s growth target for this year.

At the central government’s economic meeting last December, policy-makers pledged prudent monetary policy as they stressed risk prevention and controlling asset bubbles.

ANZ said a better-than-expected growth outlook might exert upward pressure on commodity prices, which may in turn drive inflation.

Also released yesterday, the official non-manufacturing PMI rose 0.1 points to 54.6 last month.

Financial, insurance and Internet and software information technology were among the fastest growing service sectors, while transportation, catering and property sectors reported contractions, the statistics bureau’s data showed.

Services accounted for 51.6 percent of China’s GDP last year.


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