BEIJING, Jan. 2 -- An HSBC survey showed on Thursday that the final reading of China's manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) stood at 50.5 in December, in line with its preliminary estimate.
The data was down from 50.8 in November. A figure above 50 indicates an expansion in manufacturing activity from the previous month, while that below 50 means a contraction.
The HSBC final PMI reading came one day after the national statistics bureau said manufacturing PMI dropped to 51.0 in December from 51.4 in November.
Qu Hongbing, chief China economist with HSBC, said the moderation of December's final HSBC China manufacturing PMI was mainly due to slower output growth. However, it was the fifth reading over 50 in a row, thanks to a steady increase of new orders.
"The recovery in momentum since August 2013 is continuing into 2014," Qu said, adding that with inflation still benign, current monetary and fiscal policy would remain in place to support growth.
According to the HSBC survey, output and new orders subindices both increased at weaker rates in December while the subindex of new export orders declined for the first time since August.