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HONG KONG – Chinese factories have reported a slight expansion in activity for September as new orders picked up marginally, according to a private survey.
The Caixin monthly purchasing managers' index released Friday ticked up to 50.1 for September from the previous month's 50.0 reading.
The index is based on a 100-point scale with numbers below 50 indicating contraction.
Chinese manufacturers reported a rise in new domestic and export work last month. However, they continued to shed jobs, which pressured their operating capacity.
Data on China's outsize factory sector is widely watched for insights into the broader economy, where growth has slowed to its lowest annual rate in a quarter century.
Caixin's survey mostly covers small and mid-sized private businesses. An official factory index, which covers larger state-owned companies, is due tomorrow.