BEIJING — China’s factory activity hit a 39-month low in November as domestic and international demand remained sluggish, but the services sector shone, official data showed on Dec 1.
The manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) came in at 49.6 in November, down from 49.8 in October, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing.
A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while anything below 50 represents contraction.
The production sub-index posted a reading of 51.9, down from 52.2 in October. The sub-index for new orders came at 49.8, back in contraction territory after posting 50.3 in October.
NBS statistician Zhao Qinghe cited tepid domestic and international demand as well as the usual reduction in production seen during winter.
On the bright side, non-manufacturing activity improved in November, signifying that the service sector was stepping up to take a stronger role in supporting the slowing economy.
The PMI for the non-manufacturing sector rose to 53.6 from 53.1 in October.
Logistics, including post and courier services accelerated during the month thanks to China’s Singles’ Day shopping promotion on Nov 11.
Retail and wholesale business, as well as services such as the Internet software, banking, securities trading and insurance, all saw strong expansion.
The sub-index for new orders in services climbed over 50 to 50.3, up 1.4 percentage points from October, showing a demand rally in the service market, said Zhao.
The non-manufacturing PMI tracks the business activities of the service and construction industries.
The sub-index for the service industry went up to 52.8 in November from 52.3 in October. The sub-index for the construction industry increased 1 percentage point from October to 58.1.