China manufacturing index hits 18-month high
Beijing: China`s manufacturing activity expanded at its strongest pace in 18 months in October, the government announced Friday, another sign of increasing strength in the world`s second-largest economy.
The official purchasing managers` index (PMI) advanced to 51.4 last month from 51.1 in September, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on its website.
The index -- which measures manufacturing activity in Chinese factories and workshops -- is a widely observed monitor of the country`s economic health. A reading above 50 indicates expansion while anything below signals contraction.
China`s economic growth in the third quarter of this year accelerated to 7.8 percent year-on-year, snapping two quarters of slowing expansion, according to official data released last month.
"China`s official PMI rose to 51.4 in October, surprising slightly on the upside, suggesting that the economy is still in an expansion mode," ANZ bank economists Liu Li-Gang and Zhou Hao said in a report after the release.
The announcement came just ahead of the scheduled release Friday by British bank HSBC of a closely watched private survey of PMI activity.
Its preliminary result last week showed that October PMI hit 50.9, its strongest pace in seven months and a significant improvement from September`s 50.2. It was the highest since 51.6 in March.