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NewsHong Kong

Surveys: China manufacturing barely grows

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 01 October, 2013, 11:49am
UPDATED : Friday, 04 October, 2013, 11:55am

HONG KONG (AP) — Chinese manufacturing barely expanded in September, according to two surveys, indicating an uneven recovery from a painful slowdown in the world's No. 2 economy.

Manufacturers eked out a third consecutive month of growth, according to the survey by the official China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing released Tuesday. The group's purchasing managers' index rose by only a fraction to 51.1 last month from 51.0 in August, less than the 51.6 reading economists expected.

The federation's report came a day after a private survey by HSBC also indicated weaker than expected growth in China's massive manufacturing industry.

HSBC's index rose to 50.2 in September from 50.1 in August, a much smaller increase than suggested by the index's preliminary reading of 51.2.

Both indexes use a 100-point scale on which numbers below 50 indicate contraction.

The reports indicate China's economic growth will be slower than in previous years as the government tries to steer the economy away from being overly reliant on exports and investment.

China's communist leaders, who say they're comfortable with slower growth, have refrained from implementing sweeping stimulus as they try to turn the economy around from a slowdown that's pulled growth down to a two-decade low of 7.5 percent.

Instead, they're using more narrowly targeted measures such as higher spending on railways and tax cuts for small businesses, part of an effort to refocus the economy on more sustainable domestic consumption.

The measures appear to have stabilized the economy but haven't translated into a significant pick-up.

"The range of growth narrowed, obviously, showing that the impetus of economic growth is not strong and economic growth will be generally stable in the future," said Zhang Liqun, an analyst at the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing.

The federation's report is based on response from 3,000 businesses while HSBC's survey covers 420 companies.

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Researcher Henry Hou in Beijing contributed to this report.

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