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US-China Trade War
Thread to discuss the US-China trade war.

Bogged down in the US-China trade war, the US manufacturing sector stumbled and fell into contraction last month for the first time in three years, an industry survey showed Tuesday.

Anemic demand for US goods, with persistent drops in export orders, produced a "notable decrease" in business confidence, as indicators for production, employment and order backlogs all fell, according to the Institute for Supply Management.

ISM's nationwide manufacturing index fell unexpectedly to 49.1, ending 35 months of expansion and hitting the lowest level since January of 2016. Economists had expected the index to hold about steady at 51.3. Any reading below 50 indicates contraction.

Ian Shepherdson of Pantheon Macroeconomics, which was not involved in producing the report, said the news was "grim." "In short, we can find no good news here," he said in a note to clients, noting that the survey did not point to a general downturn "yet."

But "another couple of months of declines on this scale would leave the US facing an entirely unnecessary and self-inflicted recession," he wrote.
China’s factory activity unexpectedly expands in August, a private survey shows.

China’s manufacturing activity expanded in August, according to results of a private survey released on Monday as production increased, but export sales fell amid the country’s escalating trade war with the U.S.

The Caixin/Markit factory Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) was 50.4 in August — better than than the 49.8 analysts polled by Reuters had expected. The Caixin/Markit manufacturing PMI was 49.9 in July. PMI readings above 50 indicate expansion, while those below that signal contraction.

The results of the private survey came after official data showed the manufacturing PMI fell to 49.5 in August, China’s National Bureau of Statistics said on Saturday — that’s compared to 49.7 in July. A Reuters poll showed analysts expected the official PMI to stay unchanged from July.

The official PMI survey typically polls a large proportion of big businesses and state-owned enterprises. The Caixin indicator features a bigger mix of small- and medium-sized firms.

The PMI is a survey of how businesses view the operating environment. Such data offer a first glimpse into what’s happening in an economy, as they are usually among the first major economic indicators released each month.

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