China's December PMI rebounds to 50.3%

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Workers attend to engines in a factory. [Xinhua]

China's PMI, a preliminary readout of the country's manufacturing activity, rebounded to 50.3 percent in December, indicating a stabler slowing trend for the country's economic growth.

The December Purchasing Managers' Index was up 1.3 percentage points from 49 percent in November, the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP) said Sunday.

A PMI reading of 50 percent demarcates expansion from contraction.

The slight growth in December's PMI confirmed a stabler trend of cooling economic growth of which the impetus still appears weak. So the pace of the growth slowdown is unlikely to tumble, said Zhang Liqun, a researcher with the Development Research Center of the State Council, China's cabinet.

He said the fundamentals in the country's economic development remain unaltered, which creates chances of pulling back the growth trend.

The country's GDP rose 9.1 percent year-on-year in the third quarter of the year, slowing from 9.5 percent in the second quarter and 9.7 percent in the first quarter.

The CFLP's sub-index for new orders in December was 49.8 percent, up 2.0 percentage points from November. The sub-index for purchase prices rose 2.7 percentage points from November to 47.1 percent in December.

The sub-index for export orders recovered 3 percentage points to 48.6 percent in December from November's sharp drop to 45.6 percent, suggesting that the impact of the spreading eurozone debt crisis eased, and the weakened demand gradually regained the former losses.

In December, 12 industries, including petroleum refining and coking, apparel, shoes, fur and feather products manufacturing, agricultural food processing and food production, enjoyed a PMI over 50 percent, while sectors such as facility manufacturing, general equipment manufacturing, and industrial chemicals manufacturing registered under 50 percent.

The CFLP's PMI is based on a survey of purchasing managers in more than 820 companies in 20 industries.

The preview of HSBC China's PMI for December rebounded slightly from November's 47.7 to 48.7 after adjusting for seasonal variation.

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