(Repeats story from Saturday)
* Official Sept reading is 50.4, same as August
* Services PMI at 53.7, up from 53.5 previous month
* New export orders expand, job losses continue
BEIJING, Oct 1 Activity in China's manufacturing
sector expanded again in September, an official survey showed on
Saturday, which may indicate that recent positive momentum can
The official Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) stood at 50.4
in September, identical with the previous month's level. A
reading above 50.0 shows growth on a monthly basis.
September's 50.4 reading matched the prediction of a Reuters
After a significant pick-up in March, China's official PMI
slipped, falling below 50 in July before showing expansion in
In an encouraging sign, new export orders increased in
September, rising to 50.1 from the previous month's 49.7.
In September, output edged up to 52.8 from 52.6 in August,
but the index for total new orders slipped to 50.9 from 51.3.
A sub-index for smaller firms fell, while performance at
larger companies improved, a sign that the government's
dependence on big state firms for growth this year has not
Economists say the pattern over the past few months
suggested sustained economic growth, but a growing dependence on
government spending and an overheated property market may pose
increased risks later this year with debt levels continuing to
Industrial profits rose at the fastest pace in three years
in August, with rising sales and higher prices stimulated by a
construction boom and heated property market.
But profits remained uneven, as traditional heavy industries
with excess capacity such as steel still struggled for growth.
Sectors like high-tech, auto manufacturing and shipbuilding
showed strong expansion, the survey showed.
Jobs were again lost, though at a slower pace, with the
employment sub-index rising to 48.6, compared to 48.4 in August.
Job losses could be rising as the government has pledged
broad capacity cuts across a range of industries.
Industrial overcapacity remains one of the main drags on
Beijing has pledged to quicken the pace of its industrial
capacity cuts, particularly in steel, after falling behind
earlier in the year.
China's state planner rejected a request in September by the
nation's steel makers for coal mines to ramp up coking coal
output to help ease supply tightness that has triggered a
frenzied price rally.
China's slowing economy and problems with industrial
overcapacity have also reduced investment opportunities, a view
reinforced by Fan Gang, a member of China's central bank
monetary committee. Private investment grew just 2.1 percent in
the first eight months of the year, remaining at record lows.
A similar official survey showed activity in China's
services sector expanded at a slightly faster pace, with the
official reading at 53.7 in September from 53.5 in August.
A measure of the construction industry rose as the
government has gone on an infrastructure spending spree.
The services employment sub-index rose in September, but
still indicated services companies were cutting staff.
Beijing has been counting on a strong services sector to
pick up the slack as it tries to shift the economy away from a
dependence on heavy industry and manufacturing exports.
A private business showed on Friday that factory activity
expanded in September but the improvement was marginal and
manufacturers continued to shed jobs.
The Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' index
for September rose to 50.1 from a no-change level of 50.0 in
(Reporting by Ben Blanchard and Yawen Chen; Editing by Richard