The HSBC China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index, a gauge of nationwide manufacturing activity, rose to a five-month high in September.
HSBC said in a statement the PMI reading points to "a moderate improvement in the Chinese manufacturing sector." HSBC economist Qu Hongbin said in a note, "We expect China to rely on continued investment in ongoing infrastructure projects and resilient consumption to grow by around 9% in the rest of the year and 2011."
The index rose to 52.9 in September from 51.9 in August, indicating China’s manufacturing activity expanded for the second consecutive month. A reading below 50 indicates contraction from the previous month, while a reading above 50 indicates expansion.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the index fell to 49.4 in July, the first reading below 50 since March 2009, but it quickly bounced back to expansionary territory in August.
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