August 1, 2012 / 1:10 AM / 7 years ago

China July official factory PMI slips to 50.1, lower than expected

BEIJING, Aug 1 (Reuters) - China’s official factory purchasing managers’ index inched down to 50.1 in July, below expectations and down from 50.2 in June, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Wednesday.

It marked the lowest reading since November, in the latest sign that growth in the world’s second-biggest economy is weighed down by cooling exports, factory output and fixed asset investment.

Economists polled by Reuters this week had expected July’s official PMI to edge up to 50.3, above the 50 point level that demarcates expansion from contraction.

A flash PMI published last week by HSBC rose to a five-month high of 49.5 in July, boosted by a pick up in output and signs of improvement in new export orders. But the employment index fell to a 40-month low.

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