|China, India Manufacturing Gains Show Asia Maintaining Momentum: Economy |
By Bloomberg News - Mar 1, 2012
China’s manufacturing expanded at a faster pace in February and a gauge for India showed sustained growth, indicating that Asian economies are maintaining momentum even as Europe’s debt crisis caps exports.
In China, the purchasing managers’ index rose for a third month to 51.0 from 50.5 in January, the statistics bureau and logistics federation said in a statement today. In India, a PMI released by HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics was close to an eight-month high.
Today’s data, along with a surprise gain in Japanese companies’ capital spending and South Korea’s biggest increase in exports in six months, add to signs that global growth prospects are improving as the U.S. recovery strengthens and Europe works to contain its debt crisis. Asia’s benchmark index entered a bull market yesterday, led by gains in China Shipping Container Lines Co.
“Pent-up demand will produce an export-led bounce in Asian economic activity” now that Europe’s debt turmoil is receding, said Tim Condon, chief Asia economist at ING Financial Markets in Singapore, which accurately forecast today’s China PMI. result.
In China, the PMI’s level, above the expansion-contraction dividing line of 50, was the highest since September and compares with the 50.9 median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey. Economic data in the first two months are distorted by the weeklong Chinese New Year holiday.
A separate manufacturing index released today by HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics rose to 49.6 in February from 48.8 the prior month, the third straight improvement and the highest since October.