China manufacturing activity expands more than expected in November: official

A worker checking the production in the packaging section of the newly opened Lego factory in Jiaxing.
A worker checking the production in the packaging section of the newly opened Lego factory in Jiaxing. PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (REUTERS) - Activity in China's manufacturing sector expanded more than expected in November, and at the fastest pace in more than two years, an official survey showed on Thursday.

The official Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) stood at 51.7 in November, compared with the previous month's 51.2 and above the 50-point mark that separates growth from contraction on a monthly basis.

The reading was the highest since July 2014, when it also stood at 51.7.

Analysts polled by Reuters had predicted a reading of 51.0, pointing to a modest expansion in November as industrial firms continued to benefit from higher producer prices and a recovery in demand.

China's economy expanded at a steady 6.7 per cent in the third quarter and looks set to hit Beijing's full-year target, fueled by stronger government spending, record bank lending and a red-hot property market that are adding to its growing pile of debt.