The preliminary HSBC Flash China purchasing managers’ index fell to 47.8 in August, its lowest reading since November 2011 as the Chinese economy continued to slow, Reuters reported. The August PMI is down sharply from July’s final reading of 49.3. A figure above 50 indicates industrial expansion; a figure below 50 indicates contraction. Analysts noted that sub-indices such as inventory numbers, orders to inventory and foreign orders to inventory are at their lowest levels in over three years. “It’s very hard to put a positive spin on anything within the data,” said Robert Rennie, Sydney-based chief currency strategy at Westpac Bank. “Bottom line – a very poor update with some very poor China data to come.” Many economists expect the falling demand will spur Beijing to launch another stimulus in the second half of the year.