Operating conditions across China's manufacturing sector improved unexpectedly in July, results of a joint survey conducted by China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP) and the National Bureau of Statistics showed Thursday.
The headline purchasing managers' index, a gauge of manufacturing sector performance, rose to 50.3 in July from 50.1 in June, against expectations for a decline to 49.8.
In contrast, detailed results of a survey by Markit Economics and HSBC indicated the steepest contraction in factory activity in 11 months in July. The Markit/HSBC PMI reading fell to 47.7 in July from 48.2 in June, matching the flash survey results.
PMI readings above 50 indicate expansion of the sector, while readings below 50 suggests contraction.
The CFLP survey found that new orders received by manufacturers increased slightly with the corresponding index rising to 50.6 in July from 50.4 in June. Meanwhile, new export orders contracted, though at a much slower pace than in June. The relevant index rose to 49 from 47.7 in June
The production index rose to 52.4 in July from 52 in the previous month, CFLP said. The purchasing price index increased to 50.1 from 44.6 in June. Employment at manufacturers continued to contract, but saw some improvement compared with June, the survey found.
China's central authorities has vowed to maintain steady economic growth in the second half of 2013 despite the "extremely complicated domestic and international conditions."
Macro policy should be stable, micro policy should be flexible and social policy should support the bottom line and all of them should be coordinated, the country's powerful Political Bureau said in a statement earlier this week.
The authorities also pledged to support small and micro-sized businesses and expand export channels, while also stressing on the need to stabilize prices and strengthen production and supply of commodities.
China's economic growth moderated in the second quarter with the GDP rising 7.5 percent, slower than 7.7 percent increase in the first quarter. China's subdued exports and weak investment conditions are weighing on the government's 7.5 percent growth target for 2013.
by RTT Staff Writer
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