The Straits Times
Published on Nov 01, 2012

Asia growth hopes lifted by manufacturing data


BEIJING (AFP) - Manufacturing in Asia strengthened last month, with China seeing growth in activity for the first time in three months, stoking hopes the region was emerging from a drawn-out slowdown.

The figures came on top of other indicators tentatively pointing to an uplift from months of slumber caused by Europe's long-running debt crisis and a stuttering recovery in the United States.

In China, the official purchasing managers' index (PMI) rose to 50.2 last month, up from 49.8 in September, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

The result marked the first time since July that the figure stood above the 50 mark that indicates expansion, and added to increasing optimism for the world's second-biggest economy. Anything below 50 points to a contraction.