| Workers produce battery lead plate at a company in Ganyu County, east China's Jiangsu Province, Oct. 31, 2012. (Xinhua/Si Wei)
BEIJING, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) -- China's manufacturing activity saw an increase for the third straight month in November, official data showed on Saturday.
The purchasing managers' index (PMI) rose to 50.6 percent in November from 50.2 percent in October, above the 50-percent figure that demarcates expansion from contraction, according to data released by the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP).
Standing above the boom-bust line, the November index indicated that the economy may continue to pick up moderately, said Cai Jin, CFLP vice chairman.
Readings for sub-indices also indicated expansion. The sub-index for new orders climbed 0.8 percentage points from October to 51.2 percent last month. The export order sub-index for November stood at 50.2 percent, up 0.9 percentage points from the previous month.
"Increases in new orders and improvements in some PMI sub-indices means companies have finished destocking, which points to further expansion in coming months," said Zhang Liqun, an analyst with the Development Research Center of the State Council, a government think tank.
The PMI data is based on a survey of purchasing managers in more than 820 companies and 20 industries.
The PMI rebounded to 49.8 percent in September, ending four straight months of decline. The index fell below the boom-bust line in August for the first time since November 2011.x The November PMI data added to other signs of a revival in the world's second-largest economy.
Profits at companies with annual revenues of more than 20 million yuan (3.18 million U.S. dollars) surged 20.5 percent in October from one year earlier, compared with September's 7.8-percent rise, according to figures from the National Bureau of Statistics.
Customs data showed the country's exports in October posted a monthly growth of 11.6 percent, their strongest since May this year, and imports climbed 2.4 percent year on year in October, reversing a negative growth in August.
The Chinese economy will maintain the modest recovery that started in the fourth quarter, predicted UBS economist Tao Wang.
Her comment was echoed by Liu Yuanchun, professor with the Institute of Economic Research at the Renmin University of China. Liu believes the country's economic growth will pick up thanks to booming domestic consumption and increasing infrastructure investment.
To buoy the slowing economy, the Chinese government has rolled out an array of measures this year, including two cuts to benchmark interest rates, the easing of bank reserve requirements and the approval of infrastructure projects worth more than one trillion yuan (157.73 billion U.S. dollars).
The final reading of a privately compiled survey by HSBC also suggested further economic recovery. The HSBC Flash China PMI bounced back to expansionary territory for the first time in 13 months to stand at 50.4 in November.
"The November flash reading by HSBC of manufacturing PMI confirms again that the economic recovery continues to gain momentum toward the year end," said Hongbin Qu, chief economist for HSBC China.
HSBC's preliminary reading on manufacturing was based on data the bank collected from 85 to 90 percent of the 420 manufacturing companies it surveyed from Nov. 12 to 20, and it will publish its final November data on Dec. 3.
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