China's factory activity expanded in August at a slower pace for the fifth month in a row, due to the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus and surging raw material prices.
The National Bureau of Statistics said on Tuesday that the Purchasing Managers' Index, or PMI, of the manufacturing sector stood at 50.1 in August, down 0.3 points from July.
The 50-point mark separates growth from contraction.
In the non-manufacturing sector, the PMI was 47.5, dipping below 50 for the first time since February 2020.
Activity decreased in the hotel and restaurant industries as the resurgence of the virus coincided with the summer vacation season.
The Chinese government says infections in the country have already been brought under control, but wariness remains regarding the future of the world's second-largest economy.