China manufacturing shrinks again in February: govt

A worker checks a machine making blankets for exports at a factory in Yiwu, east China's Zhejiang province, on January 12, 2015China’s manufacturing activity contracted for the second straight month in February, the government said on Sunday, a day after the central bank announced an interest rate cut to help stem a slump in the world’s second-largest economy. The official Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) came in at 49.9 last month, up a fraction from 49.8 in January, but remaining in contraction. The index, which tracks activity in factories and workshops, is considered a key indicator of the health of China’s economy, a major driver of global growth. January’s figure had been the first contraction for 27 months and highlighted weakness in the key sector as China’s economic growth slows.

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