Manufacturing activity in China edged down in December, according to official data Sunday, but it has maintained momentum despite increased restrictions on heavy industry aimed at controlling the country's chronic air pollution .
The Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), an indicator of factory conditions, stood at 51.6 in December, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reported, against 51.8 in November.
All that is above 50 is considered growth, while a number less than this number indicates a contraction. The number was in line with the expectations of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News.
China has curbed activity in the heavy industries of the northeast of the country in an effort to reduce the excess capacity and smog that typically cover the region in the late fall and into the late 1980s. winter.
Faced with public discontent with chronic pollution, the world's second-largest economy has signaled that it is ready to tolerate a slowdown in economic growth in exchange for improved environment.
But the reduction of highly polluting industries such as steel has so far not had a major impact on the country's manufacturing sector.
"The year 2017 has been a year of stabilization for the Chinese economy after a recovery in 2016," said Bloomberg News quoting Chen Long, an economist at Gavekal Dragonomics.