China manufacturing weak, adding to economy pressure

BEIJING (AP) — Growth in Chinese factory activity was weak in September, export orders fell and employers cut jobs, two surveys showed Friday, adding to pressure on lackluster economic growth.

A monthly purchasing managers’ index released by business news magazine Caixin fell to 48.1 from August’s 49.5 on a 100-point scale on which readings below 50 indicate activity contracting. A separate PMI by an official industry group rose to 50.1 from 49.4.

“The surveys suggest that China’s economy continued to lose momentum,” said Zichun Huang of Capital Economics in a report.

That adds to complications for Chinese leaders who are trying to reverse an economic slump after growth fell to 2.2% in the first six months of 2022, less than half the 5.5% official target.

Those efforts have been hampered by weak global and Chinese consumer demand and a slump in real estate activity caused by an official crackdown on the industry’s use of debt.

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