That said, the rate of selling price inflation was mild in the context of historical survey data and much weaker than seen for costs. Inventories, at 50.7, dropped 2.6% while growing for the tenth consecutive month, albeit at a marginal level, according to the report, and struggling to keep pace with production and reflecting ongoing issues with supplier deliveries.
In terms of the single index, the sub-index on new export orders shrank for a fifth straight month to sit at its lowest level since February at 46.7 - compared to 48.0 in September. The latest figure signalled a further pick up in growth momentum and a strong improvement in the health of the manufacturing sector.
It said input price inflation quickened to the fastest in nearly a year, and in line with higher purchasing costs, buying activity declined for the first time since July.
The headline PMI was driven by a stronger expansion in new business received by goods producers in October. According to survey participants, job creation was underpinned by new product lines and robust demand.
The Caixin index, one of the first available monthly indicators showing China's economic conditions, is closely watched by investors.
New orders increased at a sharp rate during October and panelists attributed this rise to successful advertising efforts, strengthening underlying demand and competitive price-setting.
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But its overall GDP growth in the first three quarters remained at a high level of 6.7 percent and it is set to achieve its preset GDP growth goal of about 6.5 percent for this year. This is definitely not a good sign, even though new orders were at 57.4.
Volumes of new work from overseas also increased, albeit at the softest rate for three months. "Third- and fourth-tier cities will continue to see faster consumption growth than metropolises".
That encouraged firms to raise output at the fastest pace in four months, which helped increase hiring to the highest pace this year.
"The key area of concern remained tariffs, which were widely reported to have contributed to another month of stalled export sales and a steep rise in prices for many inputs". Output charges rose at the slowest rate in just over two years. According to the statement, the leaders chose to continue with the country's "proactive fiscal policy and prudent monetary policy" while again underscoring the need to "stabilise" employment, finance, trade, foreign capital, investment and expectations.
More than 70 per cent of United States firms operating in southern China are considering delaying further investment there and moving some or all of their manufacturing to other countries as the trade war bites into profits, a business survey showed on Monday.