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Dow Jones Newswires: China manufacturing gauge shows surprise rebound in November

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BEIJING — An official gauge of China’s manufacturing unexpectedly rebounded to expansion in November, ending a two-month contraction resulting from a power crunch.

The official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index rose to 50.1 in November from October’s 49.2, the National Bureau of Statistics said Tuesday.

The result was better than the 49.6 median forecast in a Wall Street Journal survey of economists and jumped above the 50-mark that separates an expansion of manufacturing activity from contraction.

China’s official manufacturing PMI slipped below the 50 mark in September and October due to a power crunch, which prompted Beijing to intervene to boost coal production and impose price caps on coal.

“The shortages of power supply eased in November and the prices of some raw materials dropped significantly, which brought manufacturing PMI back to expansion territory,” said Zhao Qinghe, a senior statistician with the NBS.

The subindex measuring production jumped to 52 in November, compared with 48.4 in October.

But subindexes measuring domestic and external demand remained in contractionary territory this month. The subindex of total new orders rose to 49.4 in November from October’s 48.8. The subindex measuring new export orders increased to 48.5, compared with 46.6 in October.

Also released Tuesday was the official nonmanufacturing PMI, which includes both service and construction activities and dropped slightly to 52.3 in November from October’s 52.4.

The index was mainly dragged down by recent flare-ups of COVID infections, said the statistics bureau.

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