Via the WSJ:
BEIJING—A closely watched gauge of manufacturing activity in China improved in July, the latest sign of recovery in the sector.
The official manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index rose to 51.7 in July compared with 51.0 in June, marking a 27-month high, the National Bureau of Statistics said Friday.
July’s PMI also was higher than the 51.4 median forecast of nine economists polled earlier by The Wall Street Journal.
Analysts said the index would be buoyed by resurgent export demand and stimulus measures by China’s government, including stepped-up spending on railways and social housing.
The subindex of small businesses’ manufacturing activity rose to 50.1 in July, the first time the reading topped 50 since April 2012. The new orders subindex rose to 53.6, the highest level since May 2012.
A PMI reading above 50 indicates an expansion in manufacturing activity from the previous month, whereas a reading below that indicates contraction.