China’s manufacturing PMI unexpectedly falls into contraction for October

An official gauge of China’s manufacturing activity unexpectedly fell into contraction after rising to expansion territory for one month in September, signaling renewed weakness in the sector.

China’s official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index fell to 49.5 in October from 50.2 in September, the National Bureau of Statistics said Tuesday. A reading above 50 indicates an expansion in activity while a reading below it indicates contraction.

The result undershot the forecast of 50.2 by a Wall Street Journal poll of economists.

The production subindex declined to 50.9 in October from 52.7 in September. The index for total new orders fell to 49.5 in October, compared with 50.5 in September, while that for new export orders dropped to 46.8 from 47.8 in September.

Meanwhile, China’s nonmanufacturing PMI, which covers both service and construction activity, fell to 50.6 in October, compared with 51.7 in September, the statistics bureau said.

The subindex tracking service activity declined to 50.1 from 50.9 in September, while the construction subindex dropped to 53.5 in October from 56.2 in September.

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