BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s factory activity expanded at a faster pace in September, beating analysts’ expectations and bolstering the economic recovery as activity rebounds from the coronavirus shock.
The official manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) rose to 51.5 in September from 51.0 in August, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed on Wednesday, and remained above the 50-point mark that separates growth from contraction.
Analysts had expected it to pick up slightly to 51.2.
China’s vast industrial sector is steadily returning to the levels seen before the pandemic paralysed huge swathes of the economy, as pent-up demand, stimulus-driven infrastructure expansion and surprisingly resilient exports propel a recovery.
Retail sales also returned to growth in August, snapping a seven-month fall following the relaxation of nationwide containment measures.
(Reporting by Gabriel Crossley; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)