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Jul 1, 12:15 AM EDT

China's manufacturing weak in June, more jobs cut


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BEIJING (AP) -- China's manufacturing was weak in June and employers cut more jobs, two surveys showed Wednesday, in a new sign the world's second-largest economy is struggling to emerge from a slump.

HSBC Corp. said its purchasing managers' index stood at 49.4, largely unchanged from May's 49.2 on a 100-point scale on which numbers below 50 show activity contracting. A separate index by an industry group, the Chinese Federation for Logistics & Purchasing, was unchanged from May's 50.2 on a similar 100-point scale.

Both surveys showed manufacturing employment declining. HSBC said jobs were cut at the fastest rate since February 2009 in the aftermath of the global financial crisis.

The data "pointed to a further decline in the health of the manufacturing sector in June," said economist Annabel Fiddes of the research firm Markit, which conducts the HSBC survey, in a report.

The Chinese government has cut interest rates four times since November and launched mini-stimulus efforts to shore up economic growth that slowed to 7 percent in the first quarter.

Both surveys found new orders and new export orders increased, suggesting global and domestic Chinese demand were reviving.

"However, it is likely that more stimulus measures will be required to ensure that the sector can regain growth momentum and to encourage job creation," said Fiddes.

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