China’s purchasing manager’s index (PMI), a gauge of industrial activity, rose to 50.9 in August following a two-year low of 50.7 in July, Reuters reported. A reading above 50 indicates expansion. The August figure is roughly in line with analysts’ expectations, though export orders dropped to 48.3, down from 50.4 last month. Input prices – a measure of feed-in costs like raw materials and intermediary goods – rose to 57.2, up from 56.3 in July. The strong reading may encourage Chinese leaders to continue the current monetary tightening policy to control the country’s inflation, which some analysts fear could choke economic growth. “The 0.2 percentage points growth in August PMI showed that the Chinese economy is gradually stabilizing,” said a government official in a statement accompanying the release.