BEIJING — China’s trouble-plagued manufacturing sector continues to slump, according to new data released from two separate sources in recent days.
The HSBC China purchasing managers’ index, the bank’s assessment of production output in this country, fell in August to 47.6, its lowest level since 2009. A figure of less than 50 on the purchasing manager’s index indicates a contraction in manufacturing output, rather than growth.
The HSBC index mirrors official government figures. Over the weekend, the National Bureau of Statistics said the country’s official purchasing managers’ index fell to 49.2, also indicative of a rollback in production. The official index clocked in at the lowest number in nine months.
Both figures underscore continuing problems in China’s manufacturing sector, which has been hit hard by the ongoing global financial crisis and a severe slowing in orders from the United States, Europe and elsewhere in the world.

Across the Pearl River Delta and on the eastern coast, tens of thousands of factories have shut down, no longer able to turn a profit by relying more on orders from China’s domestic market and developing countries.
The official Xinhua news agency reported today that other key economic indicators, including the consumer price index, would likely show further softening of the Chinese economy this fall.

The country is in the midst of a rare transition in power at the top, so economic woes are apt to be especially closely watched.