China official PMI rises to 7-month high

China's official manufacturing purchasing managers' index rose to a seven-month high of 50.6 in November from 50.2 in October, the country's National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Saturday.

A PMI reading below 50 suggests growth slowed, while a number above 50 indicates accelerating growth.

While growth accelerated for large firms for the third month in a row, medium and smaller companies saw a retrenchment, with the decline more pronounced for the smaller firms, the NBS said.

The HSBC China flash PMI — which gathers more data from smaller, privately-held firms with a strong export focus — signalled that November growth in the manufacturing sector had quickened for the first time in 13 months with a reading of 50.4 when it was published last week, reflecting a steady uptick in the economy.

China's economic health has improved since September, with an array of indicators from factory output to retail sales and investment showing Beijing's pro-growth policies are gaining traction.

The official PMI generally paints a rosier picture than the HSBC PMI because the official survey focuses on big, state-owned firms, while the HSBC PMI targets smaller, private companies. There are also differing approaches to seasonal adjustment between the two surveys.

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