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02 August 2017, 12:52 | Lionel James
STR | AFP | Getty Images China reports official manufacturing PMI for July
The Caixin PMI rose to stand at 51.1 for the month of July, compared to the 50.4 figure seen in June.
Although the PMI survey showed growth in manufacturing output cooled to a four-month low, new orders surged nearly to the all-time high hit in April 2010, particularly from overseas, and employment also rose strongly. "Notably, new export sales increased at the second-fastest rate since September 2014", the press release said. It is expected that the index will fall back to 56.4 after a bullish reading around 57.8 last month.
The official purchasing managers' index (PMI) held above the 50-point mark that separates growth from contraction for the 12th straight month, as China poured funds into a construction boom that has fuelled demand for everything from cement to steel and other building materials.
Manufacturing activity in July slowed to 47.9, the lowest level since February 2009, according to the Nikkei Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index, due nearly entirely to the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax on July 1.
"Operating conditions in the manufacturing sector improved further in July, suggesting the economy's growth momentum will be sustained", Zhengsheng Zhong, an economist at CEBM Group, said in a statement accompanying Tuesday's release.
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However, the data contradicts a more reserved assessment from the ONS which said output had slightly contracted from April to June.
French shares rose on Tuesday as oil prices surged above $50 a barrel and a private measure of Chinese manufacturing activity hit its highest level in four months in July, adding to optimism that the Chinese economy is performing better than previously thought.
Output and new orders increased at slower rates with production rising at its weakest in nine months.
"The PMI drop in July was a normal fluctuation and did not show much about the cyclical trend of China's economy", CITIC Securities said in a note. "Output, purchasing activity and inventories were all cut as near-term prospects remained bleak", said Paul Smith, director at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey.
The data was in contrast to the official PMI on Monday, which came in at 51.4, below the expected 51.6.
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