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China factory activity accelerates in November
by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Nov 30, 2017


China's manufacturing activity accelerated in November, official figures showed Thursday, beating expectations as strengthening domestic and global demand boosted production in the world's second-largest economy.

The manufacturing purchasing managers' index, a gauge of factory conditions, stood at 51.8 for the month, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said, up from 51.6 in October.

Anything above 50 is considered growth while a figure below that number points to contraction. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News had expected a reading of 51.4.

"The manufacturing industry maintains the momentum of steady increase," NBS analyst Zhao Qinghe said in a statement.

Balanced improvement in supply and demand as well as strengthened market vitality contributed to the growth, he said.

But "expansion momentum has weakened in some traditional industries" including petrol refining and ferrous metal smelting and rolling processing, according to Zhao.

"The sector faces increasing headwinds in the months ahead from the anti-pollution crackdown, slower credit growth, reduced fiscal support and a cooling property market," Capital Economics analyst Julian Evans-Pritchard wrote in a research note.

The reading came after official figures showed slowing broader industrial output as Beijing fights smog by clamping down on pollution produced by heavy industries.

The government is also pushing to make domestic demand a growth driver of the economy and make China less reliant on manufacturing and exports.

TRADE WARS
Got a spare $71m? How about a single Hong Kong apartment?
Hong Kong (AFP) Nov 21, 2017
Home may be where the heart is, but in Hong Kong it comes at a record price - more than $71 million for a single apartment. A well-heeled buyer snapped up two adjacent mountain-top pads - each more than 4,000 square feet (370 square metres) - for an eye-watering combined price of US$149.1 million. The smaller of the two properties closed at $71.7 million, making it Asia's most expensi ... read more

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