China factory growth seen expanding

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    BEIJING – China’s factory activity likely expanded at a slightly faster pace in November, a Reuters poll showed on Friday, as the world’s second-largest economy steadily recovers from the coronavirus crisis.

    The official manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) is expected to rise slightly to 51.5 in November from October’s 51.4, according to the median forecast of 22 economists polled by Reuters. A reading above 50 indicates an expansion in activity on a monthly basis.

    China’s vast industrial sector is steadily returning to the levels seen before the pandemic paralyzed huge swathes of the economy early this year. Premier Li Keqiang said on Tuesday he expects economic activity to return to a reasonable range next year.

    Profits at industrial firms grew in October for a sixth consecutive month and at their quickest pace since early 2017, data showed on Friday.

    “Overall, we believe China’s economic recovery remains largely on track and maintain our real GDP growth forecast of 5.7 percent year-on-year for Q4, up from 4.9 percent in Q3.

    We firmly believe Beijing will maintain its policy stance,” analysts at Nomura said in a note on Friday.