China’s factory activities returned to expansion in September for the first time since April, with the official manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) coming in at 50.2, picking up from 49.7 in the previous month, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics.
Of China’s official manufacturing PMI, sub-indexes for production and demand both improved further in September, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics.
The sub-index for production reached 52.7 in September, picking up from 51.9 in the previous month, and the sub-index for new orders reached 50.5, rising from 50.2 in August, both marking the highest since April. Overseas demand remained weak, with the sub-index for new export orders rising by 1.1 percentage points to 47.8, marking the highest since April, but remaining in the contractionary territory for the sixth consecutive month.
Despite the improvement in production and demand, the sub-index for manufacturing employment only picked up slightly by 0.1 percentage point to 48.1, remaining in contraction for the seventh straight month.
To meet improving production, manufacturers’ stepped up material purchases, with the sub-index for material purchase volume rising slightly by 0.1 percentage point to 50.7, expanding for the second straight month.
The sub-index for raw material purchasing prices reached 59.4, rising by 2.9 percentage points from the previous month, and the sub-index for products’ factory-gate price reached 53.5, rising by 1.5 percentage points, both marking the highest since May 2022. The sub-index for manufacturers’ business expectations fell slightly by 0.1 percentage point to 55.5.
Divergence remained between manufacturers of different sizes, with large-sized manufacturers’ PMI rising by 0.8 percentage point to 51.6, marking the highest in nearly six months; medium-sized manufacturers’ PMI remaining unchanged at 49.6; small-sized manufacturers’ PMI rising by 0.3 percentage point to 48.
China’s non-manufacturing activities expanded at a faster pace in September, with the official non-manufacturing PMI rising to 51.7 from 51 in the previous month, accelerating for the first time in five months, showed the data.
The composite PMI, with both tracks the manufacturing and the non-manufacturing PMI rising by 0.7 percentage points to 52 in September, according to the NBS data.
Of China’s official non-manufacturing PMI, the index for the service activities rose by 0.4 percentage point to 50.9, showed the data.
Notably, the sub-indexes for railway transportation, air transportation, hospitality and catering were in contractionary territory as the summer peak season for travel ended.
The index for construction activities rose by 2.4 percentage point to 56.2 in September, as construction activities accelerated as the impact of high-temperature and rainy weather eased. Market confidence improved further, with the sub-index for construction business expectation rising by 1.5 percentage points to 61.8.