Activity in China’s manufacturing sector contracted last month, a survey from HSBC bank showed on Thursday, indicating a weak start to the year for the world’s second biggest economy.
The final Markit/HSBC Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to 49.5 in January from 50.5 in December, its lowest level in six months and compared with a flash estimate of 49.6 released last week. The number is below the 50-level that separates contraction from expansion.
“Within the week, it [the PMI] didn’t plunge further from our preliminary reading but it is below 50,” said Frederic Neumann, co-head of Asian economics, managing director at HSBC.
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