Investing.com – In another sign that China’s economy may be stabilizing, the official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) remained in positive territory in December and slightly ahead of expectations.
China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Tuesday morning that the manufacturing PMI for December came in at 50.2, steady from a month earlier and slightly ahead of the 50.1 reading that economists polled by Reuters had expected. A reading above 50 signals expansion.
The manufacturing PMI has now expanded for two months in a row, suggesting that the Chinese economy may have hit bottom.
On a positive note, a sub-index that focuses on new orders for export rose above 50 for the first time in 19 months, coming in at 50.3 compared to 48.8 in November.
New orders hit 51.2 compared to 51.3 in November while output growth came it at 53.2 compared to 52.6 a month earlier.
However, the non-manufacturing PMI fell to 53.5 from 54.4. While the reading still shows expansion, it may point to some weakness among new economy industries.
The subdued but positive PMI reading comes as China and the U.S. prepare to sign a phase one deal on their ongoing trade war that has hit both economies.
The private Caixin PMI is due out Thursday. The official PMI is focused on larger companies and state-owned enterprises, while the Caixin PMI is more focused on smaller private companies.