The purchasing managers' index (PMI) was 50.1 in February, the lowest since September when it stood at 49.8, according to the National Bureau of Statistics and the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP).
The figure was seasonally adjusted, they said, to mitigate volatility led by the week-long Chinese New Year holiday that fell in the middle of the month.
PMI is a widely watched barometer of the health of China's economy, with a reading above 50 indicating expansion while anything below points to contraction.
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