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China manufacturing up amid sustainable growth drive

China's manufacturing activity has surged to a five-month high. That's good news for the country's leadership which is accepting slower growth as it wants the nation to move towards a more sustainable development.

China's National Bureau of Statistics said the country's official purchasing managers index (PMI) reached 50.8 points in May, up from 50.4 points in the previous month.

The result marked a five-month high and an increase for the third consecutive month, with any reading above 50 indicating growth.

The index tracks manufacturing activity in China's factories and workshops and is a closely watched barometer of the health of the national economy.

Leaving old strategies behind

Economic pundits said the positive result was also made possible because of acceleration in budgeted fiscal spending and tax rebates to help exporters.

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China's move towards a free market economy

China's leadership confirmed it wanted to make private demand the key driver for the country's economic growth as China moved away from heavy reliance on huge and often wasteful investment projects that have accompanied decades of expansion.

Such a transformation is expected to result in lower growth rates, but seen as more sustainable in the long run.

hg/dr (Reuters, AFP, AP)

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