China has reported a fall in product orders for August, suggesting the looming trade war threatened by the introduction of tariffs between the East Asian country and the US could already be impacting trade.

According to the August report from The China Federation of Logistics & Purchasing, manufacturing activity improved for the month but sales fell.

The monthly purchasing managers’ index rose to 51.3 for the month, up 0.1 percentage point from last month. The production index was up 0.3 percentage points to 53.3%, indicating manufacturing production has maintained growth.

However, the new orders index was 52.2%, a fall of 0.1 percentage point month-on-month, showing the pace of manufacturing market demand growth has slowed.

In August, the US introduced an additional 25% tax on goods, including textiles and select apparel, in a bid to get China to review what the US called its unfair trading practices. China immediately retaliated with a 25% tax on US goods of the same value. The moves bring the amount levied to a combined $100bn since the first round of tariffs went into effect in July – $50bn from each side.

US retailers last month rejected the introduction of the tariffs, arguing the enforcement would only hurt American consumers.

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