Chinaâs manufacturing may contract this month by the most since March 2009 as home sales slide, adding to evidence the worldâs second-biggest economy is slowing, a preliminary purchasing managersâ index shows. The reading of 48 reported by HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics today compares with a final number of 51 last month. A number below 50 indicates a contraction. Europeâs sovereign-debt crisis threatens to cut export demand just as small businesses complain of a credit squeeze, and Premier Wen Jiabaoâs campaign to cool home prices triggered a 25 percent slump in sales last month. Todayâs Chinese data indicated easing inflation pressures that leave more room for measures to boost growth after the U.S. yesterday reported a weaker-than-estimated expansion.