Coca-cola chinese chinaReutersMembers of the Bai (L) and Dai ethnic minorities indigenous to China’s southwestern province Yunnan drink Coca-Cola at the Stone Forest in Kunming March 18. The soft drink giant Coca-Cola formally opens its Kunming bottling plant on March 20 and is one of the first Fortune 500 companies to make a major investment in Yunnan province, one of China’s poorest and least industrialized.

The purchasing manger’s index for China’s industrial sector excluding non-manufacturing fell to 53.4 from 54.6, the lowest reading in more than a year, according to the South China Morning Post.

The index, released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), is based on a survey by the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing of nearly 1,200 firms in 27 industries, including construction, transport and telecommunications.

A reading above 50 means the sector is expanding; below 50, contracting.

The business activity index for hotels, leasing, commercial services, postal services, marine transport, real estate and public utilities fell below the 50 threshold, with overall business volume falling.

It’s been a pretty mediocre day for PMI so far — click here to follow along with us live »

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