China's manufacturing, service activities both contracted
BEIJING: China's manufacturing activity contracted for a seventh straight month in February, in a sign of persistent economic weakness, official data showed on Tuesday.
The purchasing managers' index (PMI) came in at 49, down from January's 49.4, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing. A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below 50 reflects contraction.
The index fell to its lowest level since August 2012, as China is seeking new economic growth engines amid a campaign to cut industrial overcapacity. NBS statistician Zhao Qinghe attributed the retreat to slowing factory activity during the Chinese New Year holidays in early February, as well as the trimming of industrial capacity. In breakdown, the sub-index measuring production stood at 50.2, down 1.2 points from a month earlier, and that for new orders settled at 48.6, down 0.9 points. The Caixin General China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), another indicator of manufacturing activity , fell to 48 in February from 48.4 in January.
The reading, which was also released Tuesday, was the lowest in five months, according to the private survey conducted by financial information service provider Markit and sponsored by Caixin Media Co Ltd. China's service sector activity also continued to slip in February, official data showed. The purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the non-manufacturing sector came in at 52.7 in February, down from 53.5 in January, according to a report released jointly by the National Bureau of Statistics and the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing.