Manufacturing sector records record growth in December

Reuters

This is for the fifth consecutive month that the index has come in above 50-point mark that separates expansion from contraction.

Demand from North American customers was particularly strong during December, the report found.

But the PMI also showed manufacturers added staff at the slowest pace in six months, adding to signs that job creation, a highlight of Britain's economy in recent years, is now slowing.

The World Bank last month raised its projection for China's gross domestic product (GDP) previous year to 6.8%, up from its October estimate of 6.7%, citing support from strong exports and robust domestic household consumption.

"Meanwhile, the Future Output Index signalled the strongest level of confidence in three months, with more than one-in-five survey participants forecasting higher production".

The country's manufacturing PMI has been in positive territory for 17 months in a row despite overall slower expansion this month.

"With global growth expected to improve to a seven year high in 2018, we think that firms are right to be confident about their prospects for this year", Mr O'Sullivan said.

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"The goods-producing economy carries strong momentum into 2018, with new order growth at its highest for nearly eight years and rising backlogs of work pointing to the need for further expansion in capacity", Smith added. It was the first slowdown in growth since early 2016.

The latest economic growth rate is a tick lower than the 6.9 percent growth in the previous three-month period.

"Overall, 2017's economic performance continues to be steady and good, establishing a generally good foundation for 2018", the federation said.

At the annual Central Economic Work Conference (CEWC) chaired by President Xi Jinping, top policymakers pledged to focus on creating "high quality" growth.

Finally, optimism amongst panelists remained elevated during December.

The NBS also said that China's official nonmanufacturing PMI rose to 55 in December, up from 54.8 in November.

The Caixin PMI focuses more on light industry, while heavy industry makes up a larger share of the NBS survey. The level of new contracts received from overseas - mainly from Asia, the United States and Europe - rose at the fastest rate in the history of the survey.

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