China’s Manufacturing Activity Contracts for a Second Consecutive Month

by Warren Seah

The official gauge of China’s manufacturing activity in November indicated contraction for the second month in a row, pointing to ongoing weakness in the country’s economy despite recent efforts by Beijing to stimulate growth amidst a lengthy housing slump.

The National Bureau of Statistics reported that China’s official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) slipped to 49.4 in November from 49.5 in October. A reading above 50 signifies expansion, while a reading below indicates contraction.

This result fell short of the forecasted 49.8, as predicted by a Wall Street Journal poll of economists.

The production subindex also declined slightly from 50.9 in October to 50.7 in November. Additionally, the index for total new orders decreased to 49.4 in November, compared to 49.5 in October. Meanwhile, the index for new export orders dropped to 46.3 in November from the previous month’s 46.8.

According to the statistics bureau, over 60% of surveyed manufacturing companies cited insufficient market demand as the primary challenge faced by the sector.

In other news, China’s nonmanufacturing PMI, which encompasses both service and construction activity, fell to 50.2 in November from 50.6 in October, as reported by the statistics bureau.

The subindex that tracks service activity dropped from 50.1 in October to 49.3 in November, while the construction subindex increased to 55.0 in October from 53.5 in November.

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