HONG KONG (AP) — The contraction in China's manufacturing eased in October, while the expansion of service industries cooled, surveys show.
The Caixin manufacturing index, which is based on a survey of factory purchasing managers, rose to 48.3 last month from 47.2 in September. The purchasing managers' index uses a 100-point scale on which numbers above 50 indicate expansion.
Factories reported a renewed increase in new export orders, which in turn helped soften the contractions in employment and output, resulting in the index's slowest rate of decline in four months, Caixin said Monday.
"The slight upswing shows the manufacturing industry's overall weakening has slowed down, indicating that the previous stimulating measures have begun to take effect," said He Fan, chief economist at Caixin Insight Group.
China's economy has slowed as Beijing tries to move the country away from an overreliance on exports and often-wasteful investment in housing, factories and infrastructure projects. It has unnerved investors around the world, hurt countries that had prospered by supplying China with raw materials and weighed on global growth.
The Chinese government has cut interest rates six times in the past year to shore up economic growth that slowed to 6.9 percent in the third quarter.
The Caixin survey comes a day after the release of the official purchasing managers' index for October, which was unchanged from the month before at 49.8. The index shows manufacturing has declined for three months in a row.
The official PMI released by the National Bureau of Statistics is weighted toward China's larger, state owned enterprises while the Caixin survey is geared to smaller, private enterprises in China's manufacturing industry, which employs tens of millions.
The official purchasing managers' index for the services industry, also released Sunday, fell to 53.1 in October from September's 53.4, adding to worries about the economy's sluggishness because services have helped make up for manufacturing weakness.