BEIJING: China's manufacturing index rose in December to 50.3 percent, a slight rebound after a greater-than-expected fall in November.
The state-affiliated China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said Sunday that its purchasing managers index, or PMI, rose 1.3 percentage points from 49 percent in November.
November's figure had been well below the 50-level that signifies expansion, and marked the first contraction in manufacturing activity since early 2009.
Federation analyst Zhang Liqun said the rebound signaled China should not expect to see a big slowdown in economic growth in 2012.
A competing Chinese survey released Friday, the HSBC China Manufacturing PMI — a seasonally adjusted index designed to measure the performance of the manufacturing economy — fell for a second month to 48.7 in December due to sluggish global demand.
China's export growth declined in November for a third month, falling to 13.8 percent from the 15.9 percent the previous month.
The slump in global demand has battered export-driven southern coastal regions, where thousands of small companies have been driven out of business and the survivors have laid off tens of thousands of workers.
Smaller private companies were hard hit by bank lending curbs imposed to cool inflation and a boom in housing prices. The government has promised to have state banks lend more to help struggling entrepreneurs but says most of its curbs will remain in place.