China’s factory activity weakened further in May, underlining the economy’s shaky recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, as orders softened, reports Nikkei Asia. The official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) came in at 48.8 this month, down from 49.2 for April, the National Bureau of Statistics reported on Wednesday. This extends a string of declines since March, after a brief uptick in the first two months of the year.
The 50-point mark separates a contraction in activity from an expansion. A Reuters poll had predicted the figure for May would come in at 49.4. Wednesday’s data follows April’s softer-than-expected key statistics, including production and investment, raising concerns about China’s growth momentum.
The PMI’s sub-indexes that cover production, new orders and raw material inventory contracted in May, hinting at softer demand not only for exports but also capital investment.