The purchasing managers' index (PMI) for China's manufacturing sector came in at 50.4 in July, slightly down from 50.9 in June, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed Saturday.
A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below reflects contraction.
The country’s factory activities maintained expanding but at a slower pace in July due to equipment maintenance and extreme weather, said NBS senior statistician Zhao Qinghe.
High-tech and equipment manufacturing is growing faster compared with other manufacturing sectors, posting monthly increases of 0.3 points and 0.9 points respectively, said Zhao.
The sub-index for production stood at 51, down 0.9 percentage points from a month earlier, while the sub-index for new orders shrank 0.6 points to 50.9, indicating a slowdown in the expansion of production and demand in the manufacturing sector.
Saturday's data also showed the PMI for China's non-manufacturing sector came in at 53.3 in July, down 0.2 percentage points from last month.