Manufacturing index at 18-month high

Updated: 2013-11-01 16:11

By Chen Jia (

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Manufacturing index at 18-month high

An 18-month high manufacturing index for October consolidated the pickup in economic growth, analysts said.

The Purchasing Managers' Index rose to 51.4 in October from 51.1 in September, the fourth consecutive rise, the National Bureau of Statistics and the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing reported on Friday.

Stronger output and an increase in new orders were behind the rise, according to the official statistics.

Zhu Haibin, chief economist at JPMorgan, said that the PMI suggested solid momentum in economic activity.

In October, the PMI for large manufacturing factories climbed to 52.3 from 52.1 in September, the 14th consecutive month above 50.

The medium-sized enterprises' PMI rose to 50.2 from 49.7, rising above 50 for the first time in five months. But the figure for small businesses dropped further to 48.5 from 48.8.

A reading above 50 means expansion in the manufacturing sector, while below 50 indicates contraction.

"It seems that the recovery is still mainly related to large and medium-sized enterprises, while small enterprises are still facing a challenging business environment," said Zhu.

A separate survey conducted by HSBC that focuses more on small-scale companies, resulted in a manufacturing PMI of 50.9 in October, up from 50.2 in September, the strongest improvement in seven months.

"China is on track for a gradual growth recovery," said Qu Hongbin, chief China economist at HSBC.