BEIJING: China’s official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for September came in at 50.2, its first time in positive territory since April, after a consecutive increase over the last four months, reads a National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) release on Saturday, reflecting recovery momentum across the country’s manufacturing sector.
Manufacturing is a vital pillar in China’s economy, thus the September manufacturing PMI signaled the recovery of the general macroeconomy, Li Changan, a professor from the Academy of China Open Economy Studies of the University of International Business and Economics, told the Global Times on Saturday.
Zhao Qinghe, a senior statistician from the NBS, said that recovering market demand had accelerated business activities across the manufacturing sector. In September, the production index came in at 52.7 percent, up 0.8 percentage point month-on-month; new order index recorded at 50.5 percent, up 0.3 percentage point month-on-month.
Specifically, PMI readings for equipment manufacturing hit 50.6 percent, high-tech manufacturing hit 50.1 percent and consumer goods manufacturing hit 51.3 percent, all returning to the expansion territory.
However, the increasing large commodities price and enterprises’ active purchasing lifted the general price index for the manufacturing sector. NBS data showed that the index of raw material purchasing in September reached 59.4 percent, and index of producer price reached 53.5 percent, all hitting a high for 2023.
Zhao noted that ‘China’s manufacturing sector recovery is still facing challenges from fierce competition, high cost and intensive financing, while various policy support measures will further push the momentum of overall economy recovery.
“The steady increase of manufacturing sector in recent months reflected that government’s policy support measures targeting the sector are taking effect, and have been boosted by the government’s focus on fostering advanced manufacturing technologies,” Li said.
In August, profit of China’s industrial enterprises above designated size bounced back from negative to positive territory, recording a 17.2 percent year-on-year increase, the NBS revealed on Wednesday.
Observers said that PMI usually reflects market activities which will flow through to private sector profits.
The NBS also revealed the PMI for non-manufacturing in September which stood at 51.7, up 0.7 percentage points from August. The ongoing Golden Week holidays for the Mid-Autumn Festival and the National Day showed strong momentum across China’s consumption market.
As an important phase of the whole industrial chain, domestic consumption which is under recovery will further advance a f manufacturing recovery, Li noted.