China's manufacturing sector to continue expanding in 2018

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Commenting on the Indian Manufacturing PMI survey data, Aashna Dodhia, Economist at HIS Markit and author of the report, said, "India's goods-producing economy advanced on its recovery path, with operating conditions improving at the strongest pace since December 2012".

The official manufacturing purchasing managers index, released on Sunday, dropped to 51.6 in December, compared with 51.8 in November, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. A number greater than 50 indicates an expansion in activity, while a reading less than 50 means a contraction.

Meanwhile, the large food and beverages sub-sector recorded its highest monthly result since April 2016, while the non-metallic minerals sub-sector, wood and paper products and machinery and equipment all recorded their lowest index results for 2017.

The pickup in December's manufacturing PMI came on the back of strong demand both at home and overseas.

The World Bank last month raised its projection for China's gross domestic product (GDP) previous year to 6.8%, up from its October estimate of 6.7%, citing support from strong exports and robust domestic household consumption.

The new order index of the non-manufacturing businesses stood at 52 in December, up 0.2 points from a month ago.

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The country's manufacturing PMI has been in positive territory for 17 months in a row despite overall slower expansion this month. The modest increase in output in December followed broadly unchanged production volumes in November.

But the PMI also showed manufacturers added staff at the slowest pace in six months, adding to signs that job creation, a highlight of Britain's economy in recent years, is now slowing.

"Economic growth in 2017 is expected to be higher than past year, but it may come under downward pressure in 2018", Zhong added.

The latest economic growth rate is a tick lower than the 6.9 percent growth in the previous three-month period. Factory activity, which has been riding a global tech boom, contracted in December, dropping from a 4-1/2 year high in November, the Nikkei/Markit survey showed.

Factory Purchasing Managers' survey from euro area and the United Kingdom are due on Tuesday, headlining a light day for the European economic news.

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