China's Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for December rose by a full point from November, jumping to 51.5 from 50.5, signalling "a modest improvement of operating conditions in the Chinese manufacturing sector," according to a press release from HSBC and Markit Economics.
Marks above 50 equal expansion, while numbers below that signify contraction.
December's mark is the highest in 19 months for the world's second-largest economy. According to the HSBC figures, the one-point surge is also the fastest growth in 21 months for China, which has had to deal with a slowing economy recently. However, improving exports and the latest PMI figure -- along with a report last week that Chinese industrial profits have surged 20% year-over-year -- indicate to some that China's slowdown may be a temporary phenomenon.
The press release also took special note that:
- Output expanded at the quickest rate since March 2011.
- Total new orders rose despite a slight fall in new export orders.
- Purchasing activity increased at the fastest pace in 21 months.
In October, the World Bank cut its forecast for full-year Chinese economic growth to 7.7%. Even the organization's earlier estimate of 8.2% was far lower than 2011's growth, when China's economy expanded by 9.2%.
The article China Manufacturing Hits 19-Month High originally appeared on Fool.com.Dan Carroll has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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