BEIJING, March 1: Manufacturing activity in China shrank at its fastest rate in four years in February, government data showed Tuesday, a fresh sign of sustained weakness in the world's second-largest economy.
The official Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), which tracks activity in factories and workshops, fell to 49.0 last month, figures from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed.
It was the lowest figure since 49.0 in November 2011, and was below the median forecast of 49.4 in a Bloomberg survey of economists.
A reading above 50 signals expanding activity in the vital sector, while anything below indicates contraction, and investors watch the index closely as the first available official indicator of the country's economic health each month. ?AFP