China's economy continued to show signs of stabilization in November with two separate manufacturing surveys on Thursday pointing to better-than-expected growth.
The official manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), which measures large state-owned factories, came in at 51.7 in November–matching the previous high in July 2014 and the highest since the 53.3 hit in April 2012.
The official PMI was an improvement from 51.2 in October and beat Reuters analyst predictions of a 51.0 reading.
The run-up in manufacturing came on the back of a government infrastructure stimulus plan and a property boom that spurred construction activity and steel prices.
This in turn benefit industrial raw materials including coal used in steel-making, which saw an increase in output that likely helped the official PMI, ANZ economists wrote in a note.
Notably, large producers of metal products and commodities benefited from a government-driven capacity reduction plan, pushing up the large enterprise PMI by 0.9 percentage point to 53.4 while the small enterprise PMI dropped by 0.9 percentage point to 47.4, noted the ANZ economists.
This is reflected in the Caixin manufacturing PMI which fell to 50.9 from 51.2 in October, although the gauge also beat analyst forecasts of 50.8. The Caixin report focuses on mid-size companies not included in the official survey.