BEIJING — A Chinese manufacturing index expanded to its highest in six months in August, a private survey showed on Sept 1.
The Caixin China General Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) stood at 51.6 for August, up from 51.1 in July, according to the survey conducted by financial information service provider Markit and sponsored by Caixin Media.
The index was the highest since February. The index registered 51.7 in February.
A reading above 50 indicates expansion.
Sustained growth in new orders led firms to expand their production schedules again in August.
The rate of growth was little changed from July’s five-month high.
“The Caixin China General Manufacturing PMI rose 0.5 points to 51.6 in August, the second-highest reading of this year so far. It was also the third consecutive month that the index had posted in expansionary territory,” said Zhong Zhengsheng, director of macroeconomic analysis at CEBM Group.
Among the sub-indices, the output index dropped slightly but new orders continued growing. Both input costs and output prices rose further, with the latter hitting an eight month high, according to Zhong.
He said that inventories of finished goods dropped further and at a faster pace, but stockpiles of procured goods continued expanding in August.
The official PMI came in at 51.7 in August, rising from 51.4 in July and beating the market expectation of 51, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
Sample differences and uneven regional performances may explain the divergence between private and official manufacturing data, according to a report by China International Capital.
The official PMI covers a sample of 3,000 manufacturing enterprises, while Caixin covers about 500 manufacturing companies and is relatively volatile due to its small sample size and focus on eastern coastal areas.