China's manufacturing shrank for a third month in December as export demand fell. A key indicator, the Purchasing Managers Index, edged up from November's all-time low but stood at 41.2, below the 50 level that shows activity is shrinking, according to the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing.
Manufacturing is about 40% of China's economic output, and a drop in demand for its exports has triggered thousands of factory closures.
The index of new export orders stood at 30.7, showing a severe contraction, according to the logistics group. Exports fell in November for the first time in seven years.
The index is based on a survey of 700 manufacturers across China.
China's economic growth is expected to fall to about 9% this year, down from 11.9% in 2007.
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