China's factories spring to life as global trade reawakens
By Wayne Cole
SYDNEY (Reuters) - Activity in China's vast factory sector expanded at the fastest pace in 27 months in July, while industry surveys across Asia showed a pick up in export orders that hinted at a long-awaited revival in global trade.
China's official manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) rose to 51.7 in July - the strongest since April 2012 and up from 51 in June, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Friday. Economists had expected a reading of 51.4.
The upbeat result was echoed in the HSBC/Markit China measure of manufacturing which climbed to an 18-month peak of 51.7, from June's 50.7. Anything above 50 in these surveys separates growth from contraction.
The reports added to evidence that Beijing's stimulus measures were gaining traction in the world's second-largest economy, and followed news that growth in the United States had rebounded from a winter lull.
"Taken literally, these PMIs signal an exceptionally strong start for third quarter growth in China," said Annette Beacher, head of Asia-Pacific research at TD Securities in Singapore.
"Each time the PMIs have printed around 51 to 52 in recent years, annual economic growth peaked at around 8 percent in the same quarter, and so we pencil that in as a starting point."
ORDERS FLOOD IN Continued...