PMI rises to 50.5 in Jan

Updated: 2012-02-01 13:32

By Chen Jia (

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BEIJING–China's January Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose to a higher-than-expected level of 50.5 from 50.3 in December, indicating an expansion in the manufacturing sector despite the weak demand from European countries struggling with the debt crisis.

This figure, which was unexpectedly higher than economists' predictions of about 48, was supported by the increase of new orders and domestic consumption. The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the China Federation of Logistics & Purchasing (CFLP) jointly released the index on Wednesday.

PMI is the main gauge to show activity conditions of the manufacturing sector. A reading above 50 means expansion, while a figure below 50 indicates contraction.

However, HSBC Holdings Plc released its January PMI final reading of 48.8 on Wednesday, compared with the 48.7 in December, which showed a contraction for three consecutive months.