China’s official PMI numbers showed a sharp upturn. The information was released by the National Bureau of Statistics and the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing.
The number reached 50.2, up from 49.8 in September. A number of 50 or above shows expansion.
It is still not clear where the goods that the PMI implies are being made go. The economies of the European Union and Japan have been badly damaged. The United States managed only a 2% improvement in gross domestic product in the third quarter. Europe’s unemployment remains at historic highs. Despite progress the U.S. joblessness rate is still near 8%. And there are concerns that Hurricane Sandy could cut in the growth in the fourth quarter.
It may be that China’s trade partners are restocking low inventory. If so, and fourth quarter activity is slow in the developed world, China’s manufacturing progress will be fleeting and will fall again next year.
Douglas A. McIntyre