China’s factory activity shrinks for fifth month, maintains pressure for policy support


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China’s manufacturing activity contracted for a fifth straight month in August, an official survey showed on Thursday, maintaining pressure on officials to provide support to shore up economic growth amid soft demand both at home and abroad. On the brighter side, new orders reverted to expansion for the first time in five months and factory owners indicated that producer prices were improving for the first time in seven months, although the vast services sector continued to trend downwards. The official purchasing managers’ index (PMI) rose to 49.7 from 49.3 in July, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, staying below...