Growth in China's factories fell to a five-month low in October, missing expectations for an expansion as manufacturers battled cooling order growth and rising costs in the slowing economy.
The official Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) eased to 50.8 in October from September's 51.1, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Saturday, but above the 50-point level that separates growth from contraction on a monthly basis.
Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast a reading of 51.2.
Growth in new orders cooled in October, as the index retreated to 51.6 from 52.2. New export orders were 49.9 in October, pointing to a contraction, from 50.2 in September.
"The fall in the index also reflects the downward pressure on the economy," said Chen Zhongtao, an official at the China Logistics Information Centre, which helps publishes the PMI.