China announced Monday that manufacturing activity expanded in August as the country continued to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
The official purchasing managers' index for manufacturing (PMI) for August was 51.0, up from 51.1 in July, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
However, the pace of expansion fell short of expectations. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected the August PMI to come in at 51.2.
PMI values above 50 indicate expansion, while those below this value indicate contraction. The PMI values are sequential and indicate a monthly expansion or contraction.
Services growth moved faster in August, with the official non-manufacturing PMI at 55.2 compared to 54.2 in July.
The National Bureau of Statistics said in its report on PMI data that demand is gradually recovering and that new orders for products such as pharmaceuticals and electrical machinery and equipment are growing faster in August than in July. Exports also generally improved, the office added.
China's manufacturing sector was hit earlier this year when factories closed due to large-scale lockdowns to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
However, the latest data from China paints a picture of the recovery, with the expansion of manufacturing activity and industrial output picking up for the fourth straight month in July.
The recovery in China is partly due to government incentives that spurred infrastructure investments and robust exports as medical supplies jumped in the first half.
Another set of factory data will be released Tuesday by Caixin and IHS Markit. This private survey shows a greater mix of small and medium-sized businesses. In comparison, the official PMI survey typically surveys a large proportion of large corporations and state-owned companies.
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