China's manufacturing activity shrank for a second straight month in November and at a quicker pace, suggesting more stimulus will be needed to shore up economic growth and restore confidence that the authorities can ably support industry.
The purchasing managers' index (PMI) came in at 49.4 in November, down from 49.5 last month, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed on Thursday.
A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below 50 reflects contraction.
Data also showed the services sector contracted for the first time in 12 months. The non-manufacturing PMI, which includes services and construction, eased to 50.2 in November from 50.6 last month.
"Today's PMI reading will further raise expectations towards policy support," said Zhou Hao, economist at Guotai Junan International. "Fiscal policy will be under the spotlight and take centre stage over the coming year and will be closely monitored by the market." (Reuters/Xinhua)