SHANGHAI: China's manufacturing activity decreased slightly in January as industrial output growth slowed amid severe winter weather, but the outlook remained positive.
The state-affiliated China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said Monday that its monthly purchasing managers index, or PMI, edged down to 55.8 on a 100-point scale, compared with 56.6 in November.
Numbers above 50 show manufacturing activity expanding. After dipping in late 2008, China's PMI rose to 52.4 in March, up from February's 49.
The index appears to be at a stable level, and "shows the economic outlook is generally positive," the federation said in a statement on its Web site.
China's industrial output has rebounded thanks to stimulus measures aimed at boosting sales of home appliances and autos. The expansion of such policies to a wider area from the original nine of China's 31 provinces and big cities will help sustain that growth, Jing Ulrich, head of China equities at J.P. Morgan, said in a client's report Monday.
Both domestic buying and exports are supporting continued recovery, although bad weather and related power disruptions slowed industrial activity slightly in December-January, she said.