Factory surveys show China reviving, global rebound fragile

Mon Dec 3, 2012 5:46am EST
 

By Lucy Hornby

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's economy picked up in November but a broader global recovery remains fragile and patchy, a clutch of factory surveys suggested on Monday, with activity elsewhere in Asia remaining subdued amid depressed demand from the developed world.

The euro zone, where factory surveys are due later, is on course for its worst quarter since the depths of the global financial crisis in early 2009. The U.S. picture is brighter, but manufacturing growth is still seen slowing in the fourth quarter.

The big emerging economies that have contributed most to global growth in recent years have been sputtering of late, with India expected to post its weakest full-year GDP expansion in a decade and Brazil logging an unexpectedly weak third quarter.

That has left investors once again hoping China will take up the slack, and evidence has been accumulating since late September that the Chinese economy is regaining its vigor after seven straight quarters of slowing growth.

"There is growing confidence that China's economy bottomed in July-September, with signs of firmer external demand," said Hirokazu Yuihama, a senior strategist at Daiwa Securities.

Monday's final reading of HSBC's China manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Survey (PMI) rose to 50.5 in November from 49.5 in October, the first time since October 2011 the headline number has topped the 50-point line that demarcates growth and contraction from the previous month.

"This confirms that the Chinese economy continues to recover gradually," HSBC's chief China economist Hongbin Qu wrote.

It followed a similar survey from the National Bureau of Statistics, released on Saturday, that showed the pace of growth in the manufacturing sector quickening. The official PMI rose to a seven-month high of 50.6 for November, from 50.2 in October.   Continued...

 
A worker cleans the window of an apartment building at a residential area in central Beijing, October 24, 2012. REUTERS/Petar Kujundzic