A slowdown in manufacturing in China continued in July as demand for exports weakened.
The China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said the purchasing managers index fell to 50.7 from 50.9 the previous month.
PMI, measured on a scale of 100, is designed to give a snapshot of industrial production. A PMI reading of below 50 indicates contracting activity.
The government has been trying to rein in inflation which is at three-year highs.
At the same time, external demand for Chinese goods has waned as economies in Europe and the United States come under pressure amid debt crises and continuing domestic economic problems.