China's manufacturing business recovery maintained a steady pace in December, further consolidating a solid base for the economic recovery.
The manufacturing Purchasing Manager's Index in December remained at 50.6, unchanged from November's reading and indicating that expansion momentum has stabilized.
This is according to the National Bureau of Statistics and China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing, which jointly released the data on Tuesday.
It is the third consecutive month the PMI reading registered more than 50, the point separating expansion from contraction in manufacturing operational activities. The achievement is due to a moderate rebound in domestic demand, and steady growth in industrial production.
The December manufacturing PMI based on a survey from HSBC Holdings Ltd rose to a 19-month high of 51.5 from November's 50.8, the fourth straight monthly rise and the second above-50 reading since October 2011, according to data the bank released on Sunday.
"It confirmed that China's manufacturing sector is gaining momentum, as domestic demand continues to strengthen thanks to the filtering through of Beijing's continuous pro-growth policy efforts," said Ma Xiaoping, an economist in China with HSBC.
The still-challenging external environment, including weak European economic fundamentals, calls for sustained policy support on both the fiscal and monetary fronts, Ma said.
"This is something Beijing's top leadership has already committed to into 2013, which will support 2013 GDP growth to rebound to 8.6 percent."
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