A private survey of China's manufacturing industry revealed Friday that factory activity had declined in January . This confirms the view that the world's second largest economy started the new year softly.
The Caixin / Markit action followed China's official PMI for production by the National Statistics Bureau on Thursday. Official data was 49.5 ̵
Thursday's soft manufacturing data showed that Beijing needs to step up support for the weakening economy. Growth in China slowed to 6.6 percent last year – the lowest rate of expansion in 28 years.
The Chinese authorities introduced measures to boost the economy last year, but this policy takes time to be effective, economists say. Economic growth in China may therefore remain weak in the first half of 2019, given foreign policy and domestic challenges, Citi economists write in a Thursday statement.