China's factory activity maintained steady growth momentum in November, boosted by resilient new orders, though the pace of expansion eased slightly from October, a private survey showed on Monday, keeping intact expectations that the economy is on a stabilising path in the last quarter of the year.
The final HSBC/Markit Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) came in at 50.8 in November, down from 50.9 in October but improving from a preliminary reading of 50.4.
"China's manufacturing sector kept relatively steady growth momentum in November, as the final manufacturing PMI was revised up from the flash reading on the back of faster new business gains," said Hongbin Qu, chief China economist at HSBC.
"The renewed contraction of employment and the slower pace of restocking activities call for a continuation of accommodative policy," he added.
A sub-index measuring new orders hit an eight-month high of 51.7 in November from 51.5 in October, while new export orders dipped to a three-month low, showing fresh demand in the vast factory sector was mainly created by domestic economy.
The overall figure remained above the 50 line which demarcates expansion from contraction for a fourth consecutive month, suggesting China may have managed to engineer a recovery needed to push through long-awaited structural reforms.
China's official PM- released on Sunday - put manufacturing growth at 51.4, unchanged from October and ahead of market expectations for a reading of 51.1.
Beijing has made it clear that it would accept a slower growth rate while it pushes ahead with economic reforms to reduce dependence on investment and export for growth, so that consumption and innovations play a bigger role.
Following a four-day conclave that ended last week, China's top leadership unveiled the boldest economic and social reforms in nearly three decades, which are expected to give the world's second-largest economy fresh drivers of growth.