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China factory activity falls amid tariff fight

/ 01:36 PM December 31, 2018

In this Friday, Feb. 24, 2017, file photo, factory workers assemble the cases of air conditioners on an assembly line at a factory in Jiaozhou, eastern China’s Shandong Province. AP

BEIJING — An official survey shows China’s manufacturing activity contracted in December, adding to pressure on Beijing to reverse an economic downturn amid trade tension with Washington.

The purchasing managers’ index issued Monday by the National Bureau of Statistics and an industry group, the China Federation of Logistics & Purchasing, fell to 49.4 from November’s 50.0 on a 100-point scale on which numbers below 50 show activity contracting.

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A statement by the groups said “downward pressure on the economy is still large” amid a domestic slowdown and weak global demand.

Chinese and US officials are due to meet in January for talks on a tariff fight over U.S. complaints about Beijing’s technology policies. /ee

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