China's factory sector shows resilience — China Focus

Dianna Christensen
January 2, 2018

"Economic growth in 2017 is expected to be higher than past year, but it may come under downward pressure in 2018", Zhong added.

While there is some variation in the forecast, analysts said the country's GDP growth may register up to 6.9 percent for 2017.

A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while below reflects contraction.

Meanwhile, the large food and beverages sub-sector recorded its highest monthly result since April 2016, while the non-metallic minerals sub-sector, wood and paper products and machinery and equipment all recorded their lowest index results for 2017.

December's expansion was driven by a further uptick in new orders, which grew at the third-fastest rate in the survey's history and boosted jobs growth to record levels as the economy moves towards full employment.

Demand from North American customers was particularly strong during December, the report found.

The Caixin survey showed Chinese manufacturers ramped up buying activity at the fastest rate in four months in December to meet higher production needs.

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Both new export orders and overall new business received by manufacturers increased at the quickest clip in four months, according to the survey, which is sponsored by Caixin and compiled by worldwide information and data analytics provider IHS Markit Ltd.

China's GDP, a measure of economic growth, rose by 6.8% year-on-year from July to September, slowing from a 6.9% pace in the first and second quarters.

"For the most part, the manufacturing sector remained stable in November, although some signs of weakness emerged", said Zhengsheng Zhong, director of macroeconomic analysis at CEBM Group, a subsidiary of Caixin.

France's factory PMI rose to 58.8 in December from 57.7 in November.

Sub-indices for production and new orders came in at 54 and 53.4, respectively, down from 54.3 and 53.6 last month, but well above the boom-bust line of 50.

"Industry in Việt Nam therefore looks to be in good shape heading into 2018", Andrew added.

Higher prices for raw materials such as steel and other metals pushed up input costs in December, and this in turn led to another push up in prices charged by manufacturers, the data showed.

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