BEIJING – China’s manufacturing industry in December recorded its first month of contraction since July 2016, with the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) standing at 49.4 points, according to data published on Monday by China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
This reading is also the lowest since February 2016, when the PMI fell to 49 points.
A figure above 50 points represents growth and below 50 indicates contraction.
The downward path of Chinese manufacturing is continuing, with the indicator falling for the fourth consecutive month after having stayed just at the threshold of contraction, at 50 points, in November.
NBS statistician Zhao Qinghe blamed the figures on the intensification of international trade frictions, referring to the disputes between China and the United States, and on other factors such as the slowdown in global economic growth and business caution due to an unfavorable environment.