A figure of over 50 indicates growth in the sector while below 50 points to contraction.
“Activity in the manufacturing sector picked up again, led by faster output growth and a further uptick in new orders, which led to a faster increase in backlogs of work,” said HSBC chief economist Leif Eskesen.
The data was a good sign for the economy, said Sonal Varma, economist at Nomura Securities. “The manufacturing sector after stabilising between July and October began to improve from November and inflation pressures remain under check.”
Elsewhere, the official China manufacturing PMI held steady in December at 50.6, matching November’s seven-month high while activity in Southeast Asia's largest economy, Indonesia, expanded at a slower rate.