China factory growth weakest in over 2 years, Economy News & Top Stories

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PMI values smaller than 50 indicate a contraction, while a figure above the threshold suggest an expansion.

"For the first time in more than two years, employment in the sector also fell, with the reduction mostly seen in larger businesses".

China's manufacturing PMI was 50.2 percent this month, down 0.6 percent over last month, while the non-manufacturing business activity index was 53.9 percent in a drop of 1.0 percent, China's statistics bureau announced on its official website today.

Many firms surveyed attributed the rise in output last month to increased client demand and greater sales.

Prices data signaled another squeeze on operating margins as input costs continued to rise at a faster rate than output charges.

A slowdown in housebuilding across the United Kingdom has put a drag on the construction industry's recovery, according to figures that also showed new orders across the sector had slowed.

The Investec Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index for October was 54.9, down from 56.3 in September.

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'New orders and employment both fell for the first time since the Brexit vote as domestic and overseas demand were hit by a combination of Brexit uncertainties, rising global trade tensions and especially weak demand for autos, ' he added.

Although firms were generally optimistic that output would increase over the next year, sentiment dipped to an 11-month low amid concerns over current subdued market conditions and the impact of the ongoing China-US trade dispute.

"The survey responses were gathered before this week's budget, which provided a welcome boost for manufacturers". Had suppliers have been able to deliver faster in October, the PMI would have dropped even more.

The feeble performance in the vast factory sector, a major domestic and global driver of growth, backs expectations of further stimulus support from Beijing as it tries to prevent a sharp downturn for the economy. Production and business confidence continued to cool despite stable demand.

Along with the PMI, the report's key metrics saw declines in October. They are the most closely watched business surveys in the world, favoured by central banks, financial markets and business decision makers for their ability to provide up-to-date, accurate and often unique monthly indicators of economic trends.

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