Workers sewing shoes at a factory in Qingdao in China’s eastern Shandong province.AFP | Getty ImagesChina on Monday released a closely watched indicator on its manufacturing activity.The official Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) was 49.8 in September — exceeding the 49.5 analysts polled by Reuters had expected. The official PMI data came in at 49.5 in August.PMI readings above 50 indicate expansion, while those below that level signal contraction.A private survey of China’s manufacturing activity, the Caixin/Markit factory Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), is also scheduled for release on Monday. Analysts polled by Reuters expect the data to come in at 50.2 for September, down slightly from 50.4 in August. The official PMI survey typically polls a large proportion of big businesses and state-owned enterprises. The Caixin indicator features a bigger mix of small- and medium-sized firms.The PMI is a survey of how businesses view the operating environment. Such data offer a first glimpse into what’s happening in an economy, as they are usually among the first major economic indicators released each month.The China PMI is closely watched by global investors for signs of trouble amid a domestic economic slowdown and the ongoing U.S.-China trade dispute.— This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.