China's PMI, a preliminary readout of the country's manufacturing activity, dropped to 49 percent in November, indicating contraction for the first time since its last under-50-percent reading in February 2009.
The November Purchasing Managers' Index was down 1.4 percentage points from 50.4 percent in October, the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP) said Thursday.
A PMI reading of 50 percent demarcates expansion from contraction.
The CFLP's sub-index for new orders in November was 47.8 percent, down 2.7 percentage points from October. The sub-index for purchase prices fell 1.8 percentage points from October to 44.4 percent last month.
In November, 10 industries, including transport facility manufacturing, oil refining and tobacco production, enjoyed a PMI of over 50 percent, while sectors such as food production, electronic facility manufacturing and non-ferrous metal smelting, registered under 50 percent.
The CFLP's PMI is based on a survey of purchasing managers in more than 820 companies in 20 industries.
The preview of HSBC China's PMI for November declined from October's 51.0 to 48.0, the lowest level in the past 32 months.