The conditions of Chinese manufacturers improved in July after 16 straight months of decline, with the Caixin China Purchasing Managers’ Index coming in at 50.6. The index is 2 points higher than June’s 48.6 and marks the first month-to-month expansion of manufacturing activity since February 2015. The recovery was driven by growth in domestic orders, which more than offset a slight decline in foreign demand. Output also increased in July after three straight months of decline, and the rate of expansion, though modest, was the fastest seen in two years. However, official PMI data released August 1 fell to 49.9, below the 50-point level that separates growth from contraction. The government focuses more on the health of heavy industries, while firms surveyed for the Caixin PMI are mostly light industries.
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