Chinas factory activity unexpectedly returns to growth in November

Chinas factory activity unexpectedly returns to growth in November

The Caixin China General Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), which gives an independent snapshot of the manufacturing sector's operating conditions, rose further to 51.8 in November from 51.7 in the previous month.

China's National Bureau of Statistics says new data indicates the country's manufacturing sector saw its first expansion in months on climbing overseas orders.

That was the first reading above 50 since April, indicating an expansion in output. Tom Mackenzie reports on "Bloomberg Daybreak: Australia".

Still, the industrial sector faces a host of headwinds including deflationary risks and rising borrowing costs, with household consumption also being squeezed by increasing food prices.

"Whether a single-month data can signal stabilization is questionable and economic indicators are contradictory", said Nie Wen (聶文), an economist at Huabao Trust Co (華寶信託) in Shanghai. Coupled with rising domestic demand, total new orders rose strongly in November "with a number of firms citing firmer underlying demand conditions", according to the survey, though the reading dipped slightly from October when the growth rate was the highest in almost six years.

Top US and Chinese negotiators held phone talks on Tuesday and agreed to keep in touch over "remaining issues" for a "phase one" trade deal between the two countries, Chinese state media said. Employment at factories remained unchanged at 47.3.

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While more policy easing measures will be necessary to maintain stable growth in 2020, Chinese authorities may want to adjust the pace until the outlook becomes clearer. The growth beat many analysts' expectation for a below-50 reading.

In an article published Sunday, China central bank Gov. Yi Gang said China won't resort to "competitive" quantitative easing even if other major economies are approaching zero interest rates.

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.

Credit growth in November could be a good reference to check the resilience of domestic demand recovery, China International Capital Corp economists wrote in a note.

The official survey focuses more on heavy industry than Caixin's, which is believed to include firms that are more export oriented.

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