China's manufacturing activity growth slowed in November, two separate business surveys showed Monday.
The official manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) slipped to an eighth-month low of 50.3 on a 100-point scale last month, down from 50.8 in October, the National Bureau of Statistics and the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said. But the November index still stayed above the key 50 percent line.
A PMI reading above 50 percent indicates growth from the previous month, while a reading below 50 represents contraction in China's manufacturing sector.
The index is a closely watched barometer of the health of the Chinese economy.
British bank HSBC Ltd., separately, said its own final PMI for November fell to a six-month low of 50.0, slower than October's final reading of 50.4 and unchanged from a preliminary flash estimate released on Nov. 20.
The official PMI survey is weighted towards bigger and state-owned firms, while the HSBC survey focuses more on smaller manufacturers in the private sector.
"Domestic demand expanded at a sluggish pace while new export order growth eased to a five-month low. Disinflationary pressures remain strong while the labor market weakened further," HSBC economist Qu Hongbin said in a statement accompanying the data.
"The People's Bank of China's rate cuts, delivered on November 21, will help to stabilize property and manufacturing investment in the coming months. We continue to expect further monetary and fiscal easing measures to offset downside risks to growth," Qu said.
China's economy expanded 7.3 percent year-on-year in the third quarter, the slowest pace of expansion since the first quarter of 2009.
Meanwhile, National Bureau of Statistics analyst Zhao Qinghe said, "Although the official PMI waned slightly, it remained above the boom-bust line, suggesting the manufacturing sector was generally expanding," according to the official Xinhua News Agency.