Factory activity in China contracted to a three-year low in February as export orders fell at the fastest pace in a decade.
The findings will likely reinforce the idea that the world’s second largest economy is slowing, after growth last year nearly reached a 30 year low. Concerns are growing that China may face a sharper slowdown depending on current US trade talks.
The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to 49.2 in February from 49.5 in January, a contraction in activity for the third straight month. The 50-mark separates growth from contraction on a monthly basis.
Manufacturing output contracted in February the first time since 2009. The findings showed the output index fell to 49.5 from 50.9 the previous month.
Manufacturers continued to cut jobs more aggressively, at the fastest rate since December 2015.