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The China Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) edged down to 50.1 in August from 50.4 in July, though it stayed above the breakeven expansion level of 50.0 for the 18th-straight month, data from the National Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday showed.
Market demand weakened as the new order sub-index fell sharply by 1.3 percentage points into the contraction territory reading at 49.6. New export orders also slid 1 pps to 46.7. While manufacturing production remained steady with the production sub-index falling slightly by 0.1 pp to 50.9.
The non-manufacturing service gauge sharply declined to 47.5 from 53.3 in July, falling into the contraction zone first time since March 2020, as the resurgence of Covid-19 cases dampened the service industry. The business activity sub-index of transportation, accommodation and catering all fell below 50 as business volume reduced significantly, the NBS said.