HONG KONG (AP) — A survey says China's manufacturing outlook has slumped to its lowest level in more than four years, highlighting sluggish conditions in the world's second biggest economy.
An index based on an official survey of factory purchasing managers declined to 49.0 in February from 49.4 in January in the seventh straight month of contraction.
The index is now at its lowest level since Nov. 2011.
The reading by the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing is based on a 100-point scale with the 50 mark dividing expansion from contraction.
Separately, a private survey also showed further deterioration in manufacturing.
The Caixin/Markit purchasing managers' index slipped to a five-month low of 48.0 last month from 48.4 the previous month.
Economists cautioned the numbers were distorted by the Lunar New Year holiday.