China’s manufacturing activity contracted in October for the second month in a row, amid material shortages and a widespread energy crisis.
China’s official sector Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to 49.2 in October, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics, from 49.6 in September.
The index operates on a hundred-point scale where numbers above 50 show an increase in activity.
The indicators are closely watched as a measure of China’s economy.
Analysts had warned that activity could slow further as manufacturers struggle with the energy crisis, material shortages and rising costs.
Economist Zhao Qinghe of the National Bureau of Statistics said in a statement on Sunday that the decline in factory activity was the result of tight energy supplies, rising material costs, and slowing supply and demand.
Since September, China’s local governments have doubled down on energy consumption targets set by Beijing to ensure China’s carbon emissions peak by 2030.
And orders were issued to factories and companies to reduce production or even stop it temporarily.
Zhao added that industries such as textiles, iron casting and non-metallic mineral products were among the hardest hit.
Source: Associated Press