China’s Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) rose to 54.0 in August from 53.3 in July, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing the China Federation of Logistics & Purchasing. It was the sixth consecutive month of expansion after the PMI contracted for five straight months between October 2008 and February 2009. "The factors that support the economic recovery remain strong," said Zhang Liqun, a researcher with the Development Research Center of the State Council. But because the economy still faces uncertainties, "we need to closely monitor the PMI’s trend in future," he said. Industrial output of small companies in Guangdong province, a key manufacturing base, also rose 3.1% in the first half from a year earlier, up 1.2 percentage points from the first quarter’s growth rate. But that figure is still lower than the output of larger companies across China. According to the National Bureau of Statics, nationwide industrial output by bigger companies rose 7.0% in the first half from a year earlier. Analysts expect industrial output to continue to grow on the back of increased domestic demand and rebounding exports.