China’s manufacturing sector contracted for the third straight month in October, as the result of weak domestic and international demand.
Reuters reports that the official China Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for October was 49.8, the same result as September. (Figures above 50 represent expansion in the sector, while figure under 50 correspond with contraction).
The result adds to speculation the Chinese economy may be stalling and is likely to put pressure on Beijing to increase stimulus measures.
The economy grew 6.9 per cent between July and September. This is the first time since the global financial crisis it has dropped below per cent.
“Because of the recent weak recovery in the global economy and continuing downward pressure in the domestic economy, manufacturers are still facing a severe import and export situation,” Zhao Qinghe, a senior statistician at China's National Bureau of Statistics in a statement.
“Financing is difficult, and expensive financing remains one of the main problems plaguing the production and operation of small businesses.”