Growth in China’s vast factory sector cooled in August as foreign and domestic demand slowed, two surveys showed on Monday, spurring new calls for more policy easing to prevent the economy from stumbling once more.
A purchasing managers’ index (PMI) published by the National Bureau of Statistics fell from a 27-month high to 51.1 in August, slightly less than forecast as factories shed jobs for at least the 24th consecutive month.
A separate, private PMI was more torpid. The final HSBC/Markit PMI eased to 50.2 in August, close to the preliminary reading of 50.3 and only a shade above the 50-point mark demarcating an expansion in activity from a contraction. The declines in both PMIs prompted some analysts to re-state their support for more policy action to lift the fading growth momentum in the world’s second-biggest economy.