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China's COVID-hit manufacturing activity contracts again

Factories forced offline after August heat wave sparked air-conditioning surge

An employee makes ice blocks at a factory in China as the country grapples with a record heat wave that stretched its power grid.   © Reuters

SHANGHAI -- China's manufacturing activity contracted again in August as repeated COVID-19 outbreaks took a toll on the economy and high power demand during record heat waves triggered factory shutdowns.

The manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) ticked up to 49.4 from a 49.0 reading in July, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, but remained below the 50-point mark that separates contraction from expansion.

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