China’s factory activity shrank for the first time in seven months in May as both domestic and external demand softened, a private survey showed, adding to concerns that the world’s second-largest economy is losing momentum.
The HSBC/Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for May slipped to 49.2, the lowest level since October 2012 and down from April’s final reading of 50.4.
The figure also was slightly lower than a preliminary reading of 49.6 released on May 23. Fifty divides expansion from contraction.
“The downward revision of the final HSBC China Manufacturing PMI suggests a marginal weakening of manufacturing activities towards the end of May, thanks to deteriorating domestic demand conditions,” said Qu Hongbin, chief China economist at HSBC.