Chinese Manufacturing Contracts

Second monthly decrease in a row reflects weaker external demand.

China’s manufacturing contracted for a second month in December as global growth faltered and Premier Wen Jiabao prolonged a crackdown on speculation in the housing market.

The index was 48.7 in December, HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics said today. That compared with a preliminary result of 49 reported on Dec. 15 and a final reading of 47.7 for November. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.

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