China: Industry is growing faster than it has been in years


The Chinese industry continued its recovery course in November. China’s factory activity expanded at the fastest pace in more than three years in November. The official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) rose to 52.1 from 51.4 in October, data from the national statistics bureau NBS showed on Monday. It was the highest PMI value since September 2017. The 50-point mark separates growth from contraction on a monthly basis. Analysts polled by Reuters had only expected an increase to 52.1 percent. China’s huge industrial sector is steadily returning to pre-pandemic activity levels among key trading partners, regardless of the second corona wave.
The service sector also grew in November. The official purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for non-manufacturing companies rose to 56.4 from 56.2 in October, according to data from the NBS. China’s service sector includes many smaller private companies that are recovering more slowly from the corona pandemic than manufacturing. Discount campaigns around “Singles Day” on November 11th, however, resulted in a strong e-commerce business in November and strengthened confidence in small and medium-sized companies.

US government intensifies trade conflict

The rapid upturn remains largely unaffected by the restrictions that the US government has imposed on many Chinese companies. US President Donald Trump is considering blacklisting chip maker SMIC and oil and gas producer CNOOC on suspected Chinese military companies, three people familiar with the matter told Reuters on Monday. The list also includes China Construction Technology and China International Engineering Consulting.

SMIC said it continued to “engage constructively and openly with the US government” and that its products and services were for civil and commercial use only. “The company has no relationship with the Chinese military and does not manufacture for military end users.” The US Department of Defense, the Chinese Embassy in Washington and CNOOC did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Joe Biden’s transition team declined to comment.

Last week, Trump had already added 89 Chinese aerospace companies to the list. Companies are prohibited from buying a range of US goods and technologies and US firms are prohibited from investing in Chinese corporations.
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