Activity in China's manufacturing sector contracted at its fastest pace in three years in August, an official survey showed on Tuesday, reinforcing fears of a sharper slowdown in the world's second-largest economy despite a flurry of government support measures.
The official Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) fell to 49.7 in August from the previous month's reading of 50.0, in line with expectations of analysts polled by agency.
A reading over 50 points signals an expansion in activity while one below that mark indicates an contraction on a monthly basis. China's factories continued to suffer from sluggish demand at home and abroad, which has saddled some firms with enormous amounts of idle capacity and forced them to cut prices, eating into profits.
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