BEIJING (Reuters) - Activity in China's manufacturing sector contracted in December for the first time in more than two years in a fresh blow to the economy.
The official Purchasing Manager's Index (PMI) fell to 49.4 in December, data showed on Monday. The 50-point index mark separates expansion from contraction on a monthly basis.
Analysts surveyed by Reuters had forecast the PMI to slip to 49.9 from 50.0 in November.
China's economy has been slowing this year and analysts expect a further softening over coming months, hurt by a Sino-U.S. trade dispute and cooling global growth.
(Reporting by Beijing Monitoring Desk; Editing by Sam Holmes)