China factory data adds to slowdown signs
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China factory data adds to slowdown signs

HONG KONG (AP) — An official measure of Chinese factory activity barely budged last month while a private survey found manufacturing deteriorated in the first quarter, adding to signs the world’s No. 2 economy is slowing.

The purchasing managers’ index released Tuesday by the National Bureau of Statistics ticked up slightly to 50.3 in March from 50.2 in February.

Separately, HSBC’s PMI fell to 48.0 from 48.5, slightly worse than a preliminary report and its third consecutive monthly drop. Both indexes use a 100-point scale on which numbers above 50 indicate expansion.

The bank said its reading implies that first quarter economic growth likely fell below the 7.5 percent rate that China’s leaders have targeted for the full year.