Chinese woman at factory processes fabric doghouses China News Service/VCG, via Getty Images
A Chinese worker processes fabric doghouses at a factory of Tancheng County in Linyi, Shandong Province of China.

China Manufacturing PMI Worsens in October as Trade War Bites

The non-manufacturing PMI, which reflects activity in the construction and services sectors, also worsened.

An official gauge of activity in China’s manufacturing sector worsened in October as the effects of an ongoing trade war with the U.S. hit home.

The manufacturing purchasing managers index fell to 50.2 this month from 50.8 in September, missing the median prediction of 50.6 in a Bloomberg survey of forecasters.

The non-manufacturing PMI, which reflects activity in the construction and services sectors, also worsened to 53.9 from September’s 54.9 reading. A level of 50 marks the dividing line between expansion and contraction.

The government this month introduced a raft of measures to stabilize sentiment, adding to steps to boost liquidity in the financial system, tax deductions for households and targeted measures aimed at helping exporters.

Top officials including President Xi Jinping also sought to bolster investor confidence, commenting on the fundamental strength of the economy and attempting to talk up the stock market, which has fallen 9% this month.

Those attempts have yet to prove successful, according to a set of early indicators compiled by Bloomberg Economics, which had suggested that sentiment among executives and investors continued to deteriorate in October.

On Tuesday, China’s currency slid to its lowest level against the U.S. dollar in more than a decade following a report that U.S. President Donald Trump plans to expand tariffs to cover the full range of imports from China if he is unable to extract concessions from Xi during a Group of 20 summit of world leaders in Argentina at the end of November.

By Bloomberg News

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