New figures reveal China's growth burst

HOPES of economic recovery in China were boosted by news yesterday that the country&rsquo;s manufacturing sector grew at the fastest rate in 18 months in October.<br /><br />The purchasing managers index released by the state-sanctioned China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing rose to 55.2, nearly a full point higher than in September. This marked the eighth month in a row that manufacturing has expanded, after six months of decline. Readings above 50 indicate expansion.<br /><br />Seven of the 11 categories measured in the survey of 700 manufacturers rose last month, although growth in employment slowed. <br /><br />Zhang Liqun, an economist at the State Council Development Research Center, said the economy was now firmly on the road to recovery.<br /><br />&ldquo;These figures show that China's economic growth will accelerate in the future,&rdquo; he said. He added that the economy was likely to grow by 9.5 per cent in the final three months of the year, after clocking 8.9 per cent growth between July and September &ndash; the highest rate for any major economy. <br /><br />Jing Ulrich of JP Morgan said: &ldquo;While public investment may moderate in the months ahead, private real estate investment, consumer spending and export demand should drive growth in the coming months.&rdquo;<br /><br />Unlike other major economies, China never sank into recession during the financial crisis, although its once stellar growth rates slowed sharply as exports slumped. It has introduced government stimulus packages to boost the domestic economy, including ramping up spending on infrastructure, such as rail and roads.<br />