HONG KONG (AP)-- A survey shows China's manufacturing activity grew this month at the fastest pace in two years. The report adds further evidence that the world's second-biggest economy is coming out of a downturn.
HSBC said Thursday that its preliminary monthly purchasing managers' index rose to 51.9 in January. It's the fifth straight monthly increase. Readings above 50 on the 100-point scale indicate an expansion.
HSBC said that manufacturers stepped up production by adding jobs and making more purchases.
Data released earlier this month showed China's economy rebounded in the final quarter of 2012, expanding 7.9 percent. The country is limping out of its deepest slump since the 2008 global financial crisis.
The index is based on a survey of 420 manufacturers. The full version is due a week later.