China's manufacturing sector to continue expanding in 2018

China's manufacturing sector to continue expanding in 2018

The Caixin China General Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose to 51.5 last month, up from 50.8 in November.

Czech manufacturing activity expanded at the sharpest pace in almost seven years in December, survey data from IHS Markit showed Tuesday.

The growth was supported by robust upturns in production and new orders, which showed the strongest increases since April and January 2011, respectively.

Demand from North American customers was particularly strong during December, the report found.

This signalled a broad stagnation in the goods-producing economy, following the strongest growth in over three-and-a-half years in the previous month. The level of new contracts received from overseas - mainly from Asia, the United States and Europe - rose at the fastest rate in the history of the survey. The rate of expansion in France was the fastest for over 17 years. In turn, new export orders rose at the quickest pace since June. According to anecdotal evidence, new business inflows were underpinned by greater demand from home and global markets.

Resulting from improved demand conditions, Indian manufacturers upped their staffing levels at the end of the year.

Job creation accelerated in December and was steep overall as firms made efforts to expand capacity.

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"The goods-producing economy carries strong momentum into 2018, with new order growth at its highest for nearly eight years and rising backlogs of work pointing to the need for further expansion in capacity", Smith added.

The slowdown was reflected in the drop in buying activity in December, the sharpest decline since September.

"(British manufacturing) broadly maintained its solid boost to broader economic expansion in the fourth quarter", said Rob Dobson, director at PMI compiler IHS Markit.

December's business optimism improved to a nine-month high.

Moreover, as consumer spending recuperated, firms were restricted in their ability to pass on higher cost burdens to clients which further placed upward pressure on firms' margins.

"This outlook was shared by the manufacturing community as sentiment picked-up to the strongest in three months amid expected improvements in market conditions over the next 12 months", Dodhia said.

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