China’s manufacturing sector growth fell short of expectations in July on the back of heightened trade tensions with the US and a string of harmful weather events.
The official Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell 0.3 points to 51.2 last month, compared to a Reuters forecast of 51.3 based on an average of industry experts. Although the reading remains above 50 and so is still considered in expansionary territory, 51.2 is the lowest figure since February.
The onset of tangible effects of trade tensions with the US in July, alongside high rain and soaring temperatures are thought to have weighed on the month’s reading, according to National Bureau of Statistics official Zhao Qinghe in a statement.
The new-order subindex fell to 52.3 from 53.2 in June, while production fell 0.6 points to 53.0. Export orders were unchanged, however, at 49.8, suggesting that trade tensions with the US have not had the expected effect on demand possibly amid a weaker renminbi.