China's manufacturing activity fell to a six-month low in November, preliminary results of a business survey by Markit Economics and HSBC Ltd. showed Thursday.
The HSBC Flash China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), a gauge of nationwide manufacturing activity of the world's second-biggest economy, slipped to 50.0 from October's final reading of 50.4 on a 100-point scale.
It was the lowest reading since May. A PMI reading above 50 percent indicates growth from the previous month, while a reading below 50 represents contraction in China's manufacturing sector. The index is a closely watched barometer of the health of the Chinese economy.
"Disinflationary pressures remain strong and the labour market showed further signs of weakening," HSBC economist Qu Hongbin said in a statement accompanying the data. "Furthermore, we still see uncertainties in the months ahead from the property market and on the export front. We think growth still faces significant downward pressures, and more monetary and fiscal easing measures should be deployed," said Qu.
China's economy expanded 7.3 percent year-on-year in the third quarter, the slowest pace of expansion since the first quarter of 2009.