China's factory activity slowed by more than expected in November, highlighting how a cooling economy is impacting its vast manufacturing sector. The official purchasing managers' index (PMI) dipped to 50.3 in November from October's 50.8, closer to the 50 point mark that separates growth from contraction. It was below the 50.6 level expected by economists.
Rising costs and falling demand were blamed for the downturn in activity. Meanwhile, a private survey from HSBC showed that growth in Chinese factories in November stalled as output shrank for the first time in six months.
The final HSBC/Markit manufacturing PMI slipped to a six-month low of 50 in November, down from 50.4 in October. The reading was unchanged from a preliminary flash finding released earlier this month.
Output fell to 49.6, which was the worst reading since May. Muted growth in new work, led companies to hold back production, HSBC/Markit said.
Growth in the world's second largest economy fell to 7.3% in the third quarter, which was the slowest pace since the global financial crisis.
The risk that China might miss its official growth target of 7.5% this year for the first time in 15 years is growing because economic data is weaker than expected, economists said.
A struggling property market, uneven export growth and cooling domestic demand and investment are some of the major factors weighing on overall growth.
China's house prices fell on a monthly basis for the seventh straight month in November, a survey showed on Sunday.
The average price of a new home in its 100 major cities was down 0.38% from October, the independent China Index Academy said.
Earlier this month, the country's central bank unexpectedly cut interest rates to 2.75% for first time since 2012 in an attempt to revive the economy.