China's vast manufacturing sector expanded in October at the fastest rate in 18 months, a survey showed on Sunday, and economists said they expected the momentum to be sustained in the coming months
China's manufacturing sector rose to 55.2 percent in October, up 0.9 percentage points from the previous month, the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP) said on Sunday.
The index was 0.6 percentage points higher than the number in September, when the PMI edged up only 0.3 percentage points to 54.3 percent. It was the eighth month in a row that the PMI reading stayed above 50.
A reading of above 50 suggests expansion, while one below 50 indicates contraction. The PMI includes a package of indices that measure economic performance.
The survey, conducted by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), covers purchasing and supply managers in more than 700 firms across China. The CFLP launched the PMI in 2005.
The production index in the PMI reached 59.3 percent in October, the highest level since last May.
China third-quarter growth accelerated to 8.9 percent -- the fastest pace in a year -- as the economy powered up an expansion built on a flood of stimulus cash and bank lending.
The world's third-largest economy is on course to meet a government target of 8.0 percent growth for 2009 -- seen as vital to foster job creation and ward off social unrest in the nation of 1.3 billion people.
The 8.9 percent growth revealed by the National Bureau of Statistics was the fastest quarterly expansion in a year. It followed 7.9 percent in the second quarter and 6.1 percent in the first three months, which was the slowest in more than a decade.
China's gross domestic product grew 7.7 percent in the first nine months of 2009 compared with the same period a year ago, after growing 7.1 percent in the first half, the data showed.