China factory growth eases in July as export demand slips

A manufacturing survey says Chinese factory activity eased in July as demand for exports weakened.

The monthly purchasing managers' index released Monday slipped to 51.4 last month from 51.7 in the previous month.

The reading is based on a 100-point scale on which numbers above 50 indicate expansion.

It was still the 12th straight month that factories reported expansion, according to the data compiled by the Federation of Logistics & Purchasing posted on China's official statistics website.

The survey found that new export orders dropped by a wider margin than overall new orders.

The index is widely watched as an early indicator of the health of China's broader economy, which saw growth hold steady at 6.9 percent in the most recent quarter.