China’s official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) beat expectations in February, rising to 50.2, from 50.1 the prior month, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
The rise in activity and new orders came despite interruptions from the Lunar New Year holiday and Winter Olympics.
Analysts had predicted a fall to 49.8. A reading above 50 indicates production expansion, while a reading below that mark indicates contraction. The sub-index for production fell to 50.4 from 50.9 month on month.
“Expansions are seen in both supply and demand sides. Because of the Chinese New Year holiday, the expansion of manufacturing activities slowed, with the production index falling 0.5 percentage points to 50.4 per cent. The expanded new orders index showed an expedited release of needs in the manufacturing market after the holidays,” said senior NBS statistician Zhao Qinghe.
China’s official February composite PMI, which includes both manufacturing and services activity, rose to 51.2 from 51 in January, still well below its pre-pandemic average, and lacklustre compared to most of last year.