BEIJING (AP) — A survey shows Chinese manufacturing contracted in August amid weak export and consumer demand. That adds to downward pressure on the struggling economy. A monthly index issued by the national statistics agency and an industry group improved from July but still was below the level that shows activity contracting. The ruling Communist Party is trying to shore up economic growth that sank to 2.5% in the first six months of 2022, less than half the official annual growth target of 5.5%. Consumer demand has been hurt by a plunge in real estate activity after Beijing tightened controls on the industry’s use of debt and by repeated shutdowns of factories, shops and neighborhoods to fight coronavirus outbreaks.
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