China's manufacturing activity growth slowed during December 2019 as the rise in new orders eased, data from IHS Markit and Caixin showed.
The seasonally adjusted Caixin China General Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index dipped to a three-month low of 51.5 in December 2019 from 51.8 in the previous month.
New orders increased at the slowest pace in three months, with export sales rising slightly, according to the survey. Buying activity in the manufacturing sector increased for the sixth consecutive month in December 2019, but at a slower pace as compared with November 2019.
Business outlook for the upcoming 12 months remained relatively weak, while staffing levels were steady.
"While it does appear that export growth is bottoming out, downside risks to domestic demand, especially from the property sector, still cloud the outlook," said Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics in a note.
Evans-Pritchard added that the People's Bank of China may need to implement further rate cuts on top of the latest reduction in the reserve requirement for Chinese banks to support fiscal policies in 2020 aiming to stabilize growth.
Earlier released data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed that the Chinese manufacturing sector continued to recover in December 2019 after returning to expansionary territory in November 2019 after a six-month slump in activity.