An early report says China's manufacturing activity has deteriorated again in April to its lowest point in a year, in a fresh sign that growth is faltering in the world's second biggest economy.
HSBC's preliminary, or flash, purchasing managers' index released Thursday fell to 49.2 in April from 49.6 in March as new business dropped for the second month amid weak demand.
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The index is based on a 100-point scale on which the 50-point mark separates expansion from contraction.
The latest numbers signal that policymakers in Beijing will face further pressure to prevent a sharper slowdown as China's economic growth sputters.
The most recent move to shore up growth came Sunday, when the central bank slashed the bank reserve requirement ratio to free up more money for lending.