The purchasing managers' index (PMI) for China's manufacturing sector came in at 51.0 in May, slightly down from 51.1 in April, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed Monday.
A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below reflects contraction.
In May, the manufacturing PMI remained stable compared with April, and the level was higher than the indexes recorded in the same periods of 2019 and 2020, as China's manufacturing continues to expand steadily, said NBS senior statistician Zhao Qinghe.
Zhao noted the growth of demand narrowed as the new order sub-index was 52.0, down 0.7 percentage points from April, but still remained in expansion territory. Looking at the situation of external demand, the indices of new orders for exports lowered 2.1 percentage points to 48.3, below the 50 benchmark that separates growth from contraction, indicating that overseas orders decreased from last year.