Factories edge back into growth in China's export-reliant Guangdong

FILE PHOTO: An employee works at an assembly line producing hybrid vehicle components at the newly launched factory of China Hybrid System (CHS) in Foshan, Guangdong province, China June 27, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo

BEIJING (Reuters) - Factory activity edged back into growth in China’s export-reliant southern province of Guangdong in September, the provincial government said on Monday, citing the latest official Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI).

The index rose 0.9 percentage points to 50.2, just above the 50-point mark which divides expansion from contraction. In August, it had dropped below that line to 49.3.

The index for new export orders reached 50.6, the first time in three months it had not contracted, the government added.

It attributed the rise to “tenacious adjustments” by the manufacturing sector.

The government made no direct mention of China’s increasingly bitter trade war with the United States, simply mentioning the need to be on alert to “the influence of unstable factors in the external environment”.

Growth in China’s manufacturing sector nationwide sputtered in September as both external and domestic demand weakened, two surveys showed on Sunday, raising pressure on policymakers as U.S. tariffs appear to be inflicting a heavier toll on the Chinese economy.

Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Kim Coghill