A key measure of China’s manufacturing activity dropped to its weakest level in more than three years in November, underlining weaknesses in the world’s second-largest economy.
The official Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), which tracks activity in the crucial factories and workshops sector, fell to 49.6, the government statistics bureau said.
It was the fourth consecutive month of decline and the lowest figure since August 2012.
Investors closely watch the index as a barometer of the country’s economic health. A reading above 50 signals expanding activity while anything below indicates shrinkage.
The statistics bureau blamed the disappointing figure on weak overseas and domestic demand, falling commodity prices and manufacturers’ reluctance to restock.
“Facing downward pressures on the economy, companies’ buying activities slowed and their will to restock was insufficient,” it said.
China’s economy expanded 7.3% in 2014, the slowest pace since 1990, the government says, and at 7% in each of the first two quarters of this year.
Officials say it decelerated further to 6.9% in the July-September period, its slowest rate since the aftermath of the financial crisis.
via The Guardian