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China’s PMI data shows further weakness falling to lowest level since August 2012

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The most recent data from China’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) shows that manufacturing activity has hit a three-year low.

This is in part down to weak demand from both domestic and overseas markets. Falling commodity prices and manufacturers’ reluctance to restock has also been blamed.

The Chinese Bureau of Statistics said in a statement: "Facing downward pressures on the economy, companies' buying activities slowed, and their will to restock was insufficient.”

Chinese President Xi Jinping is set to begin a five-day visit to Africa to kick start trade and help reverse the slowdown of China's manufacturing sector.

Xi will be the most prominent statesman to visit Zimbabwe for many years. Then Xi and a Chinese delegation plan to fly to Johannesburg later in the week ahead of the sixth Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), which will gather leaders from across the continent.

Seeking raw material to fuel its economy, China heavily invested in Africa to become the continent's largest trade partner in 2009.

However, Chinese investment in Africa fell by more than 40% in the first half of 2015 due to China's reduced demand for commodities such as oil, iron ore and copper because of the country's flagging manufacturing base.

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