The HSBC China Flash Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), a preliminary reading of the nation’s manufacturing activity, fell to a three-month low of 50.5 in December, from a November final reading of 50.8, HSBC Holdings Plc. (00005.HK) said in a statement Monday. A figure above 50 indicates expansion in manufacturing activity. Output index dropped to a two-month low of 51.8 after a November reading of 52.2 but new orders and new export orders increased at a faster rate, the statement said. A recovery trend in the manufacturing sector that started in July is holding up overall, despite the dip in the December flash figure, as the index still stands above the average reading for the third quarter, Hongbin Qu, chief economist for China and co-head of Asian Economic Research at HSBC, said in the statement. He expects the economy to expand 7.8 percent in the fourth quarter compared to the same period last year.
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