China factory index at 3-year low, services improve

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

HONG KONG (AP) — An official survey shows that Chinese manufacturing was at its weakest in more than three years in November while service industries improved.

The manufacturing index released Tuesday and based on a survey of factory purchasing managers slipped to 49.6 in November from 49.8 the previous month.

The index is based on a 100-point scale, with the 50-point mark separating expansion from contraction.

A similar measure covering China's service industries rose to 53.6 from 53.1.

Separately, the private Caixin/Markit purchasing managers' index for manufacturing released the same day also remained at a level indicating contraction, although it improved to 48.6 from 48.3.

The latest data highlight the growth slowdown gripping China as officials try to shift the economy's focus from manufacturing to services in a transition that's proving to be rocky.