SHANGHAI — China’s manufacturing sector experienced a slight boost in January, spurred by a spike in demand for consumer goods over the holidays.
According to figures released Wednesday by the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing, last month’s purchasing managers index, or PMI, rose to 50.5, which was 0.2 percentage points higher than December’s 50.3 figure.
In November, the country’s PMI fell to 49 percent, which was the first time the economic indicator had fallen below the 50 mark since February 2009. A PMI below 50 indicates contraction rather than expansion.
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The tobacco, food and beverage industries experienced the most robust growth, while metal smelting, furniture and construction-related manufacturing continued to experience contraction, the Logistics Federation said.
A HSBC survey of China’s PMI indicated January’s figure only increased to 48.8 percent compared to 48.7 percent in December.
New export orders declined in January, down 1.7 points to 46.9 percent, the federation said. Imports were at 46.9 percent, which was a 2.2 percent decline.
Logistics Federation analyst Zhang Liqun said that while January’s figures indicate a “gradual stabilization of the Chinese economy,” the decline of import and export orders will continue to require close attention.