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China’s Manufacturers Slow in September as Trade War Worsens

  • Gauge of new export orders declines to lowest since 2016
  • Services and construction gauge unexpectedly strengthened
Employees sort through strips of leather to be manufactured into belts at a factory in Guangzhou, China.

Employees sort through strips of leather to be manufactured into belts at a factory in Guangzhou, China.

Photographer: Giulia Marchi/Bloomberg
Updated on

Two gauges of activity in China’s manufacturing sector worsened in September, reflecting the nation’s economic slowdown and fallout from the trade war with the U.S.

The official manufacturing purchasing managers index stood at 50.8 in September versus 51.3 in August, lower than the median estimate of 51.2 in a Bloomberg survey of economists. Meanwhile, the Caixin manufacturing PMI, which better reflects sentiment among smaller, private firms, declined to 50 from 50.6, the lowest since May 2017. A reading of 50 is the dividing line between expansion and contraction.