Chinese manufacturing indexes showed small businesses struggling, sapping momentum in the economy and underscoring the need for the government to shift support away from larger, state-backed companies.
The official Purchasing Managers’ Index (SHCOMP) for smaller companies fell to 47.3 in May from 47.6 the previous month, even as the broader gauge rose to 50.8 from 50.6, the government said June 1. A private manufacturing index today that includes small enterprises fell more than forecast to 49.2, an eight-month low, from 50.4. Levels below 50 signal contraction.
The divergence illustrates Premier Li Keqiang’s challenges in achieving sustainable growth across the world’s second-biggest economy while increasing consumption and reducing reliance on exports and investment. Service industries expanded last month at the slowest pace since September, a separate government survey showed today, adding to pressures on Li.