The index is based on a 100-point index on which the 50 mark divides expansion from contraction.
The level of new contracts received from overseas - mainly from Asia, the United States and Europe - rose at the fastest rate in the history of the survey.
New orders placed at Indian manufacturers rose for the second month in succession during December. It was the first slowdown in growth since early 2016.
In response to greater inflows of new orders, good producers were encouraged in December to engage in input buying at the sharpest rate since August 2015.
China's manufacturing sector continued to expand in December, pointing to economic resilience in the country's factory sector. As a outcome, the sector observed a modest increase in pre-production inventories for the first-time since June. Although the rate of inflation quickened to a 10-month high, it was modest and weaker than the long-run series average.
The survey found that higher demand in the sector helped to lift factory output.
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Chinese steelmakers in 28 cities have been ordered to curb output between mid-November and mid-March, while a campaign to promote cleaner energy by converting coal to natural gas has also hampered manufacturing activity in some cities, leading to shortages and sending prices spiking.
Meanwhile, the sub-index of supplier deliveries declined 0.2 points month on month to 49.3, showing a slower delivery by raw material suppliers.
Spain's manufacturing sector expanded at a solid pace in December thanks to strong output and hiring, a survey showed on Tuesday, in the latest sign that economic growth throughout 2017 held steady until the end of the year. "Anecdotal evidence pointed to stronger market demand from home and global markets", said Aashna Dodhia, economist at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey. In breakdown, the new order index for the service sector increased slightly slower month on month to 50.9, and that for the construction sector rose at a faster pace to 58.1.
"Challenges remain as the economy adjusts to recent shocks, but the overall upturn was robust compared to the trend observed for the survey history".
Manufacturers' optimism about their business prospects over the next 12 months rebounded from November's record low, but remained well below the historical average, according to the Caixin survey.