An index of China’s manufacturing rose last month, expanding at its fastest rate in 20 months amid heavy government economic stimulus, an industry group reported yesterday.
The state-sanctioned China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said its monthly purchasing managers index, or PMI, rose to 56.6 on a 100-point scale, compared with 55.2 in November. Numbers above 50 show manufacturing activity expanding.
It was the biggest month-to-month expansion since last March, when the PMI rose to 52.4 from 49 in the previous month.
The rising index “shows the situation of China’s economy is stable and the recovery has been further consolidated,” a government economist, Zhang Liqun (張立群), said in a statement issued by the federation.
Beijing’s 4 trillion yuan (US$586 billion) stimulus program has helped boost growth by pumping money into the economy through spending on public works projects. Economic growth rose to 8.9 percent from a year earlier in the quarter ending in September and the World Bank is forecasting 8.4 percent growth for all of last year.
Jing Ulrich (李晶), head of China equities at JP Morgan, said in a report that “we expect China’s strong economic growth momentum to continue in 2010, with the major source of growth coming from a broad-based improvement in private consumption, and further strengthening in private housing investment, and a solid recovery in exports.”
China is expected to grow by about 9.5 percent this year, state media quoted a government think tank as saying yesterday, exceeding forecasts made by outside experts for the new year.
The world’s third-largest economy will be boosted by double-digit growth in real estate investment and mild inflation, the State Council’s Development Research Center said in a report published in the China Economic Times.
“In 2010, the external environment will remain rather grim but it will not deteriorate further,” Zhang said in the report.
He said exports would start to grow again in the coming year.
The think tank’s economic growth forecast for this year is well above Beijing’s target of 8 percent.
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