China’s manufacturing facility exercise jumps additional in direction of growth in February

Shoppers eat at the Yuyuan Bazaar on Tuesday January 24, 2023 during the Lunar New Year holiday in Shanghai, China.

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China’s factory activity moved further into expansion territory in February, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics.

The official manufacturing PMI rose to 52.6 in February — above the 50-point mark separating growth from contraction. That’s the highest reading since April 2012, when it hit 53.5.

The February PMI reading is also above the 50.1 reported for January and above expectations of 50.5, according to economists polled by Reuters.

The non-manufacturing PMI also rose further to 56.3 from 54.4 in January when it posted a sharp improvement helped by a recovery in services and construction activity.

The Chinese onshore yuan was 6.9325 against the US dollar, while the offshore yuan was up 0.15% against the greenback to 6.9480.

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China Beige Book chief economist Derek Scissors told CNBC’s Squawk Box Asia that he expects consumption to improve later this year – buoyed by all the announcements from upcoming sessions of the National People’s Congress.

“I think April is really the time when consumers will take notice of the March sessions of the National People’s Congress and the announcements made there,” Scissors said.

“In April we should see where the course of Chinese consumption goes. It will be better than last year, but it won’t be much better and the people who rely on it might be disappointed,” he said.

China’s National Party Congress begins on Sunday.

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