China’s factory activity grows further, marks its highest reading in nearly 11 years

A worker processes high-end yarn at a new materials workshop in Zaozhuang, East China’s Shandong Province, Feb. 27, 2023.

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

The official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index rose to 52.6 in February – above the 50-point mark that separates growth from contraction. That marks the highest reading since April 2012, when it hit 53.5.

February’s PMI reading is also higher than the 50.1 reported for January and above expectations of 50.5, according to economists surveyed by Reuters.

Non-manufacturing PMI also grew further to 56.3 from January’s print of 54.4, when it saw a sharp improvement backed by a recovery in services and construction activity.

The Chinese onshore yuan stood at 6.9325 against the U.S. dollar while the offshore yuan strengthened 0.15% to 6.9480 against the greenback.

China Beige Book’s chief economist Derek Scissors told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” he expects to see an improvement in consumption later this year – buoyed by any announcements from the upcoming National People’s Congress meetings.

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“I think April’s really the time that consumers will take cues from the March National People’s Congress meetings and the announcements made there,” said Scissors.

He added, “In April, we should see where the course of Chinese consumption is going. It will be better than last year, but it won’t be much better and the people relying on that may be disappointed.”

China’s National Party Congress kicks off on Sunday.

Consumption in China may not be 'much better' than last year, says economist

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