China’s official Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to 50.4 in May from 53.3 in April, well below analyst expectations of around 51.5, suggesting slowing activity in Chinese manufacturing, The Wall Street Journal reported. A figure above 50 indicates growth in the sector, while a reading below 50 indicates contraction. The drop in May was so large that some economists, such as Li Wei of Standard Chartered (STAN.LON, 2888.HKG), suspect April’s reading may have been too high. “I think the slowdown is all being reflected in May, so I’m a little bit concerned about some over-correction in the data,” he said. The figure comes after a slew of negative economic data was released in May, indicating a broad economic cooling and triggering speculation that Beijing may looking to introduce fiscal stimulus measures. “As risks of a hard landing have increased, Beijing should issue more policies to stabilize economic growth,” said Li Huiyong, an economist at Shenyin Wanguo Securities (0218.HKG).