A preliminary gauge of Chinese manufacturing activity rose to an 18-month high in July, suggesting Beijing’s efforts to stimulate growth are paying off.
The preliminary HSBC China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index, a gauge of nationwide manufacturing activity, rose to 52.0, compared with a final reading of 50.7 in June, HSBC Holdings PLC said Thursday. A reading above 50 indicates expansion from the previous month, while a reading below 50 indicates contraction.
China posted output growth of 7.4% in the first quarter compared with a year ago and 7.5% in the second, a slowdown from the 7.7% growth the world’s No. 2 economy posted in the fourth quarter of 2013. China has responded with a series of steps that include speeding up construction projects and picking up the pace of lending, which economists have called ministimulus measures.