ASSOCIATED PRESS COVERAGE

Aug 20, 11:32 PM EDT

Growth in China manufacturing weakens in August


World Video

Multimedia
Video photo gallery on trash in China
China celebrates 60th year
Panorama of Tiananmen Square
Remembering Tiananmen
A year after China quake
Migrant laborers struggle to find work
Checking Beijing's Air
China's morning exercises in parks
Exploring Chinese Cuisine
Beijing Architecture Changes For Games
Woman Rescues Homeless Quake Dogs
China Holds Funeral for Panda
China's 1-child Policy Causes Extra Pain
Map of Earthquake Zone in Central China
Entrepreneurs Move Into, Out of China
Olypmics in Beijing Highlight China's Water Woes
Foreign Buyers Head to China Despite Problems
Coal Use Produces Pollution, Illness
Coal Means Profit, Woes for China
China Extending Its Reach Around the World
In China, the Desert Closes In
Latest News
6 dead, 21 missing in landslide in southwest China

China, Vietnam say they'll negotiate sea disputes

China bus-truck collision death toll rises to 15

Fonterra to invest in China infant formula company

China investigating managers at VW joint venture

Buy AP Photo Reprints
Interactives
Interactive about job growth
Quiz for Older Job Seekers
Who Has Lost the Jobs? A State by State Look
Audio Slideshow
Panorama of Tiananmen Square
Remembering Tiananmen

HONG KONG (AP) -- Growth in China's vast manufacturing industry weakened in August, suggesting that the recovery in the world No. 2 economy is losing momentum and Beijing may need to spoon out more stimulus.

The preliminary version of HSBC's manufacturing index, released Thursday, fell to a three-month low of 50.3 from 51.7 in July, indicating that manufacturing businesses are barely growing.

The index, based on a survey of a factory purchasing managers, uses a 100-point scale on which numbers below 50 indicate contraction

China's economy has been struggling to stabilize after slowing from double-digit rates of expansion in the past decade. Growth edged higher to 7.5 percent in the April-June quarter from 7.4 percent in the first quarter.

The HSBC report adds to other recent indicators that the recovery is still shaky. Earlier this month, data showed that China's exports accelerated but imports sagged, which may reflect weakening domestic demand.

China's leaders earlier this year unveiled mini-stimulus measures aimed at boosting areas such as public housing and railways. They need to prop up growth to meet the official full-year expansion target of 7.5 percent while also trying to guide the economy to growth based on domestic consumption rather than exports and investment that have powered China's factories for decades.

"Today's data suggest that the economic recovery is still continuing but its momentum has slowed again," said HSBC's chief China economist, Qu Hongbin. "Therefore, industrial demand and investment activity growth will likely stay on a relatively subdued path. We think more policy support is needed to help consolidate the recovery."

The survey, compiled with Markit, is based on 85-90 percent of responses from 420 factories. The final version is due Sep. 1.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.