China industry output expands in February; PMI rises to 51%

01 March 2012 03:15  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s manufacturing sector grew faster in February as indicated by a 0.5-percentage point increase in its Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for the month from January, official data showed on Thursday.

The country recorded a 51% PMI in February, the third straight month that it recorded a reading above the 50% threshold, according to the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP).

PMI slipped into contraction mode in November 2011 with a reading of 49%, but reverted back into expansionary stance in December at 50.3%.

Investment bank HSBC, however, had a different take on the manufacturing activities of China, with its monthly PMI readings staying below 50 for the past four months. HSBC’s China PMI was at 49.7 in February.

Meanwhile, based on CFLP’s statistics, new orders index for February rose by 0.6 percentage points to 51.0%, while the production index inched up 0.2 percentage points to 53.8%.

Both import and export indices increased during the month, with a 50.8% and 51.1% reading.

The export index rose above 50% for the first time since August 2011, indicating a slight improvement in external demand.

Purchasing price index showed was at 54% in February, up four percentage points from January.

“The index achieved a new high since October 2011,” said an analyst at CFLP who declined to be named, adding that the government must be wary about inflationary pressures.

Higher purchasing prices were recorded mostly on the petroleum-related industries, according to CFLP.

The PMI – a measurement of the monthly performance of China’s factories – is based on a survey of 820 manufacturers across 20 industries

By: Dolly Wu
+65 6780 4359

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