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China’s December Factory Output Unexpectedly Accelerates

The official manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) rose to 50.3 in December from 50.1 in November, National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) data showed

China output
The unexpectedly strong performance of the world's second largest economy in the new year came after China's economy was losing momentum as a liquidity crunch in the property market and strict anti-virus measures hit consumer confidence and spending. Photo: Reuters.


Factories in China unexpectedly accelerated their activity in December despite Covid-19 outbreaks and a slowing economy, according to an official survey released on Friday.

The official manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) rose to 50.3 in December from 50.1 in November, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed.

Analysts had expected it to fall slightly to the 50-point mark, which separates growth from contraction.

“It shows that the country’s economy as a whole has maintained a recovery trend, and the level of prosperity has recovered steadily,” said Zhao Qinghe, senior statistician at the NBS.

The world’s second-largest economy, which staged an impressive rebound from last year’s pandemic slump, has lost momentum as it grapples with a slowing manufacturing sector, debt problems in the property market and small-scale Covid-19 outbreaks.

However the NBS said the manufacturing sector appeared to have shrugged off its current obstacles.

“The prices of some commodities have fallen significantly, the pressure on corporate costs has eased, and the level of manufacturing has rebounded for two consecutive months,” Zhao added.


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George Russell

George Russell is a freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong who has lived in Asia since 1996. His work has been published in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Post, Variety, Forbes and the South China Morning Post.


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