Chinese growth gives hope for global recovery

The growth prospects for the global economy were given a fillip over the New Year after China's manufacturing sector posted a third consecutive month of expansion.

The official purchasing managers' index (PMI) of the world's most populous country was 50.6 in December, which matched November's seven-month high and reflects increased spending on infrastructure projects and growth in sectors such as car manufacturing and electronics.

A PMI figure above 50 indicates expansion for the massive factory base in China and will be welcomed by governments in the US, the UK, the eurozone and Japan, which are either mired in recession or finding sustained growth elusive. China's economy – the world's second-biggest – is forecast to have grown by 7.8 per cent in the fourth quarter.