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China’s factory activity slips slightly in June

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A private gauge of China’s factory activity eased slightly in June but remained in expansionary territory, reflecting the resilience in the manufacturing sector.

The China Caixin manufacturing purchasing managers index was 50.5 for June, slightly lower than the 50.9 reading for May, according to data released Monday by Caixin Media Co. and S&P Global.

Manufacturing output growth slowed in June from a month earlier, but the subindex stayed above the 50 mark, which separates activity expansion from contraction, for the fifth month in a row.

Growth of total new orders slowed in June from May but continued to expand thanks to domestic demand, while overseas orders remained stable at slightly above the 50 mark.

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The subindex tracking employment in the sector came in well below 50 in June, after it bounced back from a more-than-three-year low in May, Caixin said.

Softer demand put further pressure on prices, with readings for input and output prices both significantly below 50 for the third straight month.

“A slew of recent economic data suggests that China’s recovery has yet to find a stable footing, as prominent issues including a lack of internal growth drivers, weak demand and dimming prospects remain,” said Wang Zhe, an economist at Caixin Insight Group.

China’s official manufacturing PMI, which tracks large state manufacturers more closely than the Caixin gauge, improved to 49.0 in June from 48.8 in May, but remained in contractionary territory.

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