China factory activity slumps further on energy woes

Observer Report

Factory activity in China plunged more than expected in October, official data showed Sunday, suggesting the industrial sector continued struggling as it grappled with tight power supply and surging raw material costs.

The key Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) — a gauge of manufacturing activity in the world’s second-largest economy — fell to 49.2 this month, down from 49.6 in September, said the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

This marks the second straight month in which China’s PMI dipped below the 50-point mark separating growth from contraction. A Bloomberg poll of economists had pegged the reading at 49.7, which would have been a slight improvement.

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