China Caixin PMI posts 3-month high in June, beating forecasts

BEIJING (BLOOMBERG) - A private gauge of China's manufacturing exceeded estimates in June, adding to evidence that the economy is maintaining some momentum after a strong start to the year.

The Caixin Media and Markit Economics manufacturing purchasing managers' index rose to 50.4 from 49.6 in May, which had been the first time the index had slipped below 50 since June 2016.

Output increased to 50.6 from 50.2 in May while new orders also rose. Numbers higher than 50 indicate expansionary conditions; below 50 signals contraction.

"Economic activity in China has yet to be really affected by liquidity and also supervisory tightening," Donna Kwok, senior China economist at UBS Group in Hong Kong, said in a Bloomberg Television interview. "Even though investment in the economy is softening somewhat, we're getting enough of a counterbalance to offset that and as a result the government has more room still to continue with that supervisory tightening."

The measure, which relies on a smaller sample size, compares with the official government PMI released on June 30 that rose to 51.7 in June, beating all economist estimates in a Bloomberg survey. The official report signaled that robust global trade is aiding Chinese momentum, giving policy makers extra room to tackle the buildup of financial risks.

"Operating conditions have now strengthened in nine of the ten past months, though the latest improvement was only slight," Caixin and Markit said in a statement with the data. "Helping to lift the headline PMI was faster growth in new order books. Though only marginal, the latest increase in new orders was the quickest seen for three months."