BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s factory activity likely expanded at a slightly faster pace in November, a Reuters poll showed on Friday, as the world’s second-largest economy steadily recovers from the coronavirus crisis.
The official manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) is expected to rise slightly to 51.5 in November from October’s 51.4, according to the median forecast of 22 economists polled by Reuters. A reading above 50 indicates an expansion in activity on a monthly basis.
China’s vast industrial sector is steadily returning to the levels seen before the pandemic paralysed huge swathes of the economy early this year. Premier Li Keqiang said on Tuesday he expects economic activity to return to a reasonable range next year.
Profits at industrial firms grew in October for a sixth consecutive month and at their quickest pace since early 2017, data showed on Friday.
“Overall, we believe China’s economic recovery remains largely on track and maintain our real GDP growth forecast of 5.7% y-o-y for Q4, up from 4.9% in Q3. We firmly believe Beijing will maintain its policy stance,” analysts at Nomura said in a note on Friday.
The Chinese economy is expected to expand around 2% for the full year – the weakest in over three decades but still much stronger than other major economies which are still battling to contain virus infections.
The official PMI, which largely focuses on big and state-owned firms, and its sister survey on the services sector, will both be released on Nov. 30.
The private Caixin manufacturing PMI will be published on Dec. 1. Analysts expect that headline reading will dip to 53.5 from a near decade high of 53.6 in October.
The Caixin services PMI survey will be out on Dec. 3.
(Reporting by Gabriel Crossley; Editing by Kim Coghill)