Pro-growth policies helped steer the official PMI back into expansion territory.
China's Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) unexpectedly rebounded to 50.1 in September from 49.4 in August, rising back to the expansionary zone above 50 after contracting for the past two months as pro-growth policies kick in and the impact of heatwaves subsided, data from the National Bureau of Statistics on Friday showed.
The production sub-index jumped by 1.7 points to 51.5 entering the traditional peak manufacturing season, but market demand remained sluggish with the new orders sub-index staying in contraction territory at 49.8 compared to August's 49.2, the NBS said.
However, the non-manufacturing PMI sharply dropped by 2.0 points to 50.6, with the services activities sub-index also declining by 3.0 points to 48.9. Businesses in retail, air transportation, accommodation, catering, and life services were all below 45.0, seeing large drops amid the Covid-19 epidemic, according to the NBS.