The world’s second largest economy’s purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for manufacturing sector came in at 50.1 in January, up from 47 in last December, returning to expansion territory for the first time since September 2022.
In breakdown, the sub-index for large enterprises stood at 52.3 in January, up 4 percentage points from the previous month.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics of China’s data, demand in the manufacturing market also rebounded, with the sub-index for new orders gaining 7 percentage points from a month earlier to 50.9.
The sub-index for production stood at 49.8, up 5.2 percentage points from last December.
Meanwhile, the official non-manufacturing PMI, which measures business sentiment in the services and construction sectors, rose to 54.4 in January from 41.6 in December, reaching the highest level since June.
The official PMI is a gauge of sentiment among larger factory operators, with 50 being the line between expansion and contraction.
The data is one of the first NBS indicators of how the economy has managed since China optimized its COVID-19 strategy and during a week-long Chinese New Year holiday that ended on Friday.
Chinese New Year consumption was 12.2 percent higher compared with the same period last year, while holiday trips made domestically surged 74 percent, as people headed out to celebrate for the first time in three years without COVID restrictions.
China’s central authorities pledged on Saturday the country would consolidate and expand the momentum of its economic rebound, accelerate consumption recovery and stabilize foreign trade and investment.