Factory activity in August shrinks for a fifth month

Factory activity in August shrinks for a fifth month

People walk through a gate in the Forbidden City in Beijing, capital of China, March 27, 2023.

Xinhua News Agency | Xinhua News Agency | Getty Images

China’s factory activity in August shrank for a fifth straight month, while non-manufacturing activity hit another low for the year — signs that the slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy may not yet have bottomed out.

The official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index rose slightly to 49.7 in August from 49.3 in July, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics released Thursday. This was better than the median forecast for 49.4 in a Reuters poll.

Thursday’s data release also showed China’s official non-manufacturing PMI falling to 51.0 in August — compared with 51.5 in July and 53.2 in June. A PMI reading above 50 points to an expansion in activity, while a reading below that level suggests a contraction.

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