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China’s factory activity grows marginally in September

BEIJING (AFP) – China’s factory activity edged back into growth in September after two months of contraction, official data showed yesterday.

The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) – a key gauge of manufacturing in the world’s second-biggest economy – came in at 50.1, up from August’s 49.4 and just exceeding the 50-point mark separating growth from contraction, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

“With a basket of policies to stabilise the economy continuing to take effect and the receding impact of high temperatures, the manufacturing sector has somewhat rebounded, pushing the PMI back into expansionary territory,” NBS senior statistician Zhao Qinghe said in a statement.

But official data showed the non-manufacturing PMI posted markedly slower growth, falling to 50.6 in September from 52.6 the previous month.

The independent Caixin survey – which tends to capture more small and export-driven firms – showed factory activity contracted more sharply in September, coming in at 48.1 compared with August’s 49.5.

A man works at a manufacturing firm in Nantong, Jiangsu province. PHOTO: AP