Peace and Freedom

Activity in factories and workshops is close to contraction, official index shows, as sector struggles with falling demand and struggling property market

Workers at a steel mill in Hefei, in eastern China's Anhui province.

China’s fall in manufacturing activity is linked to the country’s struggling property market, economists said. Photograph: STR/AFP/Getty Images

Agencies

China’s manufacturing growth dropped in December to its lowest level of 2014, an official survey showed on Thursday, as the sector struggles with weak domestic demand.

After a rough 2014, the world’s second-largest economy looks set to start the new year on a weak note, reinforcing expectations that Beijing will roll out more stimulus to avert a sharper slowdown which may trigger job losses and debt defaults.
A property slump is expected to last well into 2015, companies will continue to struggle to pay off debt and export demand may remain erratic, leaving only the services sector as the lone bright spot in the economy.

China’s official purchasing managers’…

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