Dow Jones industrial futures are up 40 points to 13,197. The broader S&P 500 futures are up 4 points to 1,422. Nasdaq futures are up 3 points to 2,655.
The improvement in Chinese manufacturing activity suggests global consumer spending may be recovering from a weak patch this year. China's manufacturing activity rose to a 14-month high in December.
The U.S. consumer prices report is due at 8:30 a.m. Eastern and the industrial production report at 9:15 a.m. Economists predict prices fell 0.2 percent in November as lower gasoline prices offset higher food costs.
European markets were less upbeat after Standard & Poor's lowered its credit outlook on Britain.