China factory activity unexpectedly returns to growth after 6 months

China's factory activity unexpectedly returns to growth in November

Resilience in the sector led to a notable recovery in the labour market in the month, with companies adding workers for the first time in eight months.

China's official manufacturing PMI, released by the NBS on Saturday, picked up to 50.2 (link in Chinese) in November from 49.3 in the previous month, marking the first expansion following six straight months of contraction.

While China and the US are still thrashing out details of an interim trade deal, Beijing faces the possibility that US President Donald Trump will impose tariffs on more Chinese imports on December 15.

The result compared with 49.3 in October.

China's factory activity unexpectedly expanded at the quickest pace in nearly three years in November, with solid increases in output and new orders, a private business survey showed on Monday (Dec 2).

A gauge of China's manufacturing sector jumped unexpectedly last month, signaling a recovery in activity amid government support and a stabilizing global economy. Total new orders bounced back to expansionary territory with the sub-index rose to 51.3, the highest level seen since April.

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Beijing has a front-loaded 1 trillion yuan ($ 142 billion) of local government bonds in 2020 a special quota for this year and have urged that they be removed and used as early as possible to increase infrastructure investment.

But the latest report also says the manufacturing sector is still facing downward pressure.

Imports and exports were improving in November, said Zhao, as the NBS data showed the sub-index for new export orders gained 1.8 points to 48.8, while the index for imports climbed 2.9 points to 49.8.

The Caixin PMI more closely tracks small, private manufacturers, while the official index focuses more on large, state-owned firms.

US President Donald Trump said this week that the world economy close to reaching an agreement on the first phase of the agreement. This reflects concerns about the prolonged trade negotiations, and Washington's recent passing of a law supporting human rights and democracy in Hong Kong.

The Caixin survey showed total new orders and factory production remained at buoyant levels in November, although they both eased slightly from record highs in the previous month, when they grew the fastest in over six years and almost three years, respectively.

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