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China’s Economy Continues Decline

An employee works on an assembly line producing electronic cars at a factory of Beijing Electric Vehicle, funded by BAIC Group, in Beijing, China, Jan. 18, 2016.
China's Economy Continues Decline
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China’s economy continues to weaken, according to recent surveys.

China is the world’s second-biggest economy. Figures released Tuesday show the country’s factory production is at its lowest level in four years.

The official Purchasing Manager’s Index, or PMI, tracks activity in factories. The manufacturing PMI in China is reported by Markit Economics.

The index dropped to 49 in China in February. In January, the PMI was 49.4.
Any reading of the PMI below 50 signals contraction. It was the seventh month in a row the PMI dropped.

Observers of the Chinese economy say February’s PMI reading could have been affected by the New Year holiday. Many factories close for an extended time and workers stay home during the holiday.

Another survey showed China’s economy is slumping. The Caixin/Markit purchasing managers’ index fell to a five-month low of 48 last month. It was the 12th month in a row that the index declined. The index calculates economic output, new orders and employment.

The economy in China grew at an annual rate of nearly 7 percent in 2015. That was the slowest amount of growth in 25 years.

To give the economy a boost, the Chinese announced a round of spending to help the economy and added to the money supply. The People’s Bank of China late Monday announced it was cutting the amount of money that banks must hold as reserves.

The People’s Bank also added $100 billion in cash into the banking system to aid in new lending.

I’m Jim Dresbach.

This report was based on a story from VOA Jim Dresbach adapted it for Learning English. Kathleen Struck was the editor.

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Words in This Story

contractionn. the act or process of making something smaller or of becoming smaller

slumpingv. to decrease suddenly and by a large amount

boostn. an increase in amount

cashn. money in the form of coins and bills