Home / News / World /  China manufacturing gauge stabilizes near a post-2012 high

Beijing: China’s official factory gauge stabilized near a post-2012 high in December, capping a year of steady improvement and signalling policy makers have more leeway to curb financial risks while keeping growth humming. A gauge of services activity also indicated expansion.

The manufacturing purchasing managers index stood at 51.4 last month, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Sunday, compared with a median estimate of 51.5 in a Bloomberg survey of economists and 51.7 the prior month. The non-manufacturing PMI was at 54.5 versus 54.7 in November. Numbers higher than 50 indicate improving conditions.

The gains add to evidence of year-end strengthening that’s giving authorities room to pursue economic rebalancing. Early private indicators for December show large and small firms saw stronger momentum as sentiment among executives improved. China’s expansion picked up to about 7% last month, a monthly tracker by Bloomberg Intelligence shows.

The data indicate improving market demand, stronger momentum in technology and robust consumption before the new year, the NBS said in a supplementary statement. The cost of raw materials and logistics is the highest in recent years and is certain to impact business operations, the NBS said, adding that rising corporate costs are squeezing profits.

The NBS said large companies remain the main support for stabilization, while the indicators for medium- and small-scale businesses have slumped below 50, indicating contraction.

The steel industry PMI fell to 47.6 from 51. Output, new orders and new export orders all fell from November. Bloomberg

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