FirstFT: slowdown in manufacturing activity in China

Updates on the global economy

Hello. This article is an on-site version of our FirstFT newsletter. Subscribe to our Asia, Europe / Africa Where Americas edition to get it delivered straight to your inbox every morning of the week. You can reach us at

One of the most important indicators of China’s manufacturing activity contracted for the first time since the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic, as measures to contain a recent outbreak weighed on an already fragile economic backdrop .

The Caixin Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index, an independent survey of factory activity, stood at 49.2 in August, falling below the 50 mark that separates monthly expansion from contraction, for the last month. first time since April 2020.

The data came out a day after the release of official manufacturing PMI figures fell just short of a contraction to 50.1, its lowest reading since February of last year. The measurement of the service sector plunged into negative territory as a recent Covid-19 epidemic weighed on activity.

The indices were one of the clearest signs of a slowdown in China’s economy, which outperformed other major economies last year thanks to an industry-fueled recovery. But China is now grappling with weaker export demand, high commodity prices and a slowdown in the real estate sector.

Is your industry feeling the effects of the Delta Variant explosion? Let me know at Thanks for reading FirstFT Asia. – Emilie

Five other articles in the news

1. SEC Chief: Crypto Platforms Need Regulation Gary Gensler, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, warned in an interview with the Financial Times that cryptocurrency trading platforms put their survival at risk unless they heed his calls to work under regulatory. “Finance is about trust, at the end of the day,” he said.

2. Hamid Karzai is unlikely to be part of the Taliban-led government Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai is unlikely to play a leading role in a Taliban-led government, while veteran politician Abdullah Abdullah is seen as the “least controversial” option by the Islamist movement , according to two senior Pakistani officials.

  • Go further: The Taliban are trying to encourage some return to normalcy even as they consider how to reshape Afghan society. Meanwhile, Afghans face banking crises and food shortages.

3. Judge will approve Purdue Pharma’s Opioid Settlement Judge Robert Drain, a federal bankruptcy judge, gave conditional approval to what could amount to a $ 10 billion plan by OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma to settle thousands of lawsuits over its role in the opioid crisis in the United States. (PA)

4. Tencent drives global investment Social media, games and fintech group more than sevenfold investments in foreign start-ups this year, accelerating global expansion of China’s most valuable company as Beijing tightens regulatory oversight of groups technological.

5. Biden meets with Ukrainian leader amid tensions over Russia Joe Biden sought to reassure Ukraine of America’s “rock-solid” commitment to its sovereignty and opposition to “Russian aggression” during a White House meeting with President Volodymyr Zelensky yesterday .

Coronavirus digest

  • India administered a record 13 million Covid-19 jabs on Tuesday, as supply constraints eased, allowing the pace of vaccinations to accelerate.

  • About 500,000 people in the UK whose immune system is severely weakened will be offered a third dose of a Covid-19 jab.

  • The fragmented we health system has allowed some in search of an unofficial third vaccine to skip the queue.

  • The degenerative effect of the coronavirus on the brain will add to the “dementia pandemic” that will affect around 80 million people by the end of the decade, scientists and psychiatrists have warned.

Follow our coronavirus live Blog and Register now to our Coronavirus Business Update email for a regular briefing on how the pandemic is affecting markets, global businesses and our workplaces.

The day to come

China International Trade Fair for Services The fair will open in Beijing today and run until September 7. President Xi Jinping will deliver a video speech at the event today.

Votes open for the leadership of the British Green Party Voters go to the polls when the party decides to completely new management in England and Wales. The English Greens have sought to translate their growing support into local power. (Tutor, FT)

What else do we read

The struggles of the microfinance industry in India The expansion of credit over the past decades has enabled low-income Indians to take out loans to pay for everything from dairy cows to new homes to small, job-creating businesses. But the pandemic has left thousands of people struggling to pay off their debts, threatening one of the country’s economic success stories.

Shikha Das, who runs a tea stand with her husband, worries about a new wave of coronavirus © Benjamin Parkin / FT

Shikha Das, who runs a tea stand with her husband, worries about a new wave of coronavirus © Benjamin Parkin / FT

Inflation puts pressure on US dollar stores Nearly 2,000 new dollar stores are expected to open this year, according to Coresight Research. This represents almost half of the store openings planned in the United States. What remains to be seen is whether dollar stores can continue to find the affordable products, and the staff, to meet their aggressive growth goals.

Education crisis looms in Latin America following Covid Schools in the region have remained closed for much of the pandemic, forcing students to learn remotely – often through unreliable mobile and internet connections. The World Bank estimates that the extended shutdowns could cost Latin America $ 1.7 billion in lost future revenues.

Join the FT online as speakers from ISA, World Bank, BlackRock and Natura will analyze post-pandemic scenarios in Latin America and discuss how business, government and civil society can work together to move towards a more sustainable future. Register now here to join on September 2.

Google is rushing the development of its own chips The U.S. tech giant plans to start using self-developed central processing units for its laptops and tablets, which run on its Chrome operating system, around 2023, according to a Nikkei Asia exclusive.

FT 1000: Europe’s fastest growing companies The latest annual ranking of companies based on revenue growth places a UK energy supplier at number one. Explore the 2021 list and apply for a place in the sixth ranking, by November 30.

Thanks to those who took part in our survey yesterday. Fifty-five percent of those polled say they would not support a universal basic income policy.

To travel.

Book towns are thriving around the world, but Wigtown in Scotland does better by giving visitors the keys to their own store. A few decades ago, Wigtown beat at least four other contenders to become Scotland’s national book town. Book Village could be more specific. Henry Mance left Amazon’s algorithms behind and entered a world of adorable trash.

© Photographed for the FT by Julian Germain

© Photographed for the FT by Julian Germain

Recommended newsletters for you

Due diligence – The best stories from the world of corporate finance. Register now here

Moral money – Our essential newsletter on socially responsible business, sustainable finance and more. Register now here

Previous Sailors keep Jerry Dipoto and Scott Servais in the fold with new deals
Next Massive Storm Ida Damage Hards Oil Industry Recovery Efforts