Chinese manufacturing growth slows slightly in December

Buildings in Beijing shrouded by smog. Wikimedia Commons

The Caixin China General Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose to 51.5 last month, up from 50.8 in November.

Growth in British manufacturing cooled last month from four-year highs struck in November, but the sector remained a bright spot in Britain's economy heading into 2018, a survey showed on Tuesday.

The performance was driven by a growth in new orders, with December's level of production the strongest in the current 17 month sequence of growth, and third-fastest in the Investec Manufacturing PMI Ireland surveys history.

The pickup in December's manufacturing PMI came on the back of strong demand both at home and overseas. Moreover, output growth slowed to a modest pace.

Based on the average monthly reading of PMI, Chen said China's GDP growth could reach about 6.9 percent in 2017.

"Weak domestic demand was reported as the key reason behind lower volumes of new business, as new export orders rose for the second month in succession".

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However, full-year growth was still the fastest in three years at 3.5 percent, raising the possibility that the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) could tighten its exchange rate-based monetary policy this year.

"Manufacturers will be looking to the new year for the progress on the National Energy Guarantee and other measures to put downward pressure on business costs", Mr Willox said. "New export orders picked up", Orlik said. In fact, job creation accelerated to the strongest since August 2012, the survey said.

The slowdown was reflected in the drop in buying activity in December, the sharpest decline since September. "Anecdotal evidence pointed to stronger market demand from home and global markets", said Aashna Dodhia, economist at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey.

December's business optimism improved to a nine-month high.

Despite its stable economic growth trend, China also faces some challenges, such as an increase in raw materials prices and rising corporate costs, said Chen of China Logistics Information Center.

"Given the strong conditions evident in the manufacturing sector, it is no surprise to see that firms are upbeat about the outlook", Philip O'Sullivan, economist with Investec, said.

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