China’s factory strong

China’s factory activity likely maintained a solid pace of expansion in December, a Reuters poll showed yesterday, as the world’s second-largest economy steadily recovers from the coronavirus crisis.

The official manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) is expected to edge down to 52,0 in December from November’s 52,1, according to the median forecast of 27 economists polled by Reuters. A reading above 50 indicates an expansion in activity on a monthly basis.

China is on track to become the first to completely shake off the drag from widespread industry shutdowns. November’s PMI reading was the highest in more than three years. The comment followed remarks on Monday by European officials that the deal was likely to be clinched this week, giving EU firms better access to the Chinese market, better competition conditions and protections for investments. Even if there is political agreement on the deal this week, hammering out legal texts could take months. Together with the ratification process, that could mean pact implementation will take about a year, EU officials have said. – Reuters.