China’s official Purchasing Managers Index rose to 50.3 in December from 49.0 in November, as the approach of the Christmas and Chinese New Year holidays helped to boost manufacturing activity, The Wall Street Journal reported. The data, published on Sunday by the National Bureau of Statistics, was higher than the median analyst forecast of 49.0. The measure dipped below 50 in November for the first time since February 2009 (a score above 50 indicates an expansion of manufacturing activity, while a score below 50 indicates contraction). Some analysts emphasized that the PMI figure should not be interpreted as an economic turn around; Nomura economist Zhiwei Zhang said he expected growth momentum to continue to wane in the first quarter. HSBC’s PMI figures for China were 48.7 in December, up from 47.7 in November. Analysts said the HSBC figures are lower because the index is weighted to smaller firms who have had difficulty accessing bank financing.